19 July 2016
Since your resume can hold so much weight in the hiring process, it can be tempting to bulk it up with buzzwords where they actually aren’t necessary. While you may think they sound impressive, in reality, they ultimately say nothing about your professional experience. Additionally, many of these words have been used so often that they’re now a cliché—making your resume less likely to stand out to hiring managers. To catch their attention, be sure you’re focusing on clear actions and accomplishments, and steer clear of these buzzwords: “Responsible for” See also: Oversaw, Supervised These words describe a passive role in a company instead of an active one. Rather than placing emphasis on your job description with these phrases, change the wording to stress results you actually produced on the job. In order to clearly state what you accomplished, you can simply replace the passive phrase with a more aggressive verb that points to a clear result. This places the focus on the benefit the company received from your actions as opposed to a simple task that you may have been directed to do. “Results-Driven” See also: Track Record, Detail-Oriented The common denominator in all of these words is that if you actually possess these qualities, you would be able to prove it. Rather than saying that you are “results-driven,” substantiate that claim with actual results that you’ve achieved. Similarly, a track record would imply that you indeed kept a “record,” so it would be preferred to provide details of that record, such as the number of new clients you’ve brought into the business. Additionally, there are other ways to prove that you’re detail-oriented, including tailoring your resume to the job posting or adding details about the position in your cover letter. “Highly Qualified” See also: Seasoned, Successfully Keep in mind that a hiring manager is reading your resume to assess your qualifications, and for each new job application, your level of qualification may vary. As a result, avoid words like “highly qualified,” and allow the reader to judge that for themselves. If you are a contender for the position, your experience and education will speak for you. Along the same lines, using the word “successfully” to describe an achievement can be redundant. Since an unsuccessful venture would not warrant any space on your resume, the hiring manager can assume that you were successful. “Innovative” See also: Dynamic, Synergy Even with evidence to back up these claims, these terms can be too subjective to actually mean anything substantial. Consider the word “innovative,” for instance. An idea or initiative that may seem groundbreaking to one person may actually be considered out-of-date or a standard practice to another. As a result, it’s better to describe your part in the idea or the results of the project instead of using vague words such as “synergy” or “dynamic.” “Go-getter” See Also: Motivated, Passionate While these buzzwords are the easiest to avoid, they’re often the most overused. As a result, skim your resume to identify any qualities such as “motivation” that can be easily communicated through your work, and remove them. For example, if you have volunteer experience in your field, you’ve already proven that you are passionate and dedicated to your work.