In many professionals’ eyes, writing resumes has become such a common and easy task for them. Yet, to write a resume that surely lands you jobs still is a tough ask. Because, it is not actually easy to write a resume without the language we have heard so often. That’s why we thought of writing about this to help you overcome this challenge.

Recruitment experts reveal that the most common mistake job seekers make is that they use a lot of buzzwords or cliché (overused terms) in their CV/resumes especially in the experience section which actually make the resume reader less interested to hire them. Meaning that the CV writers often fail to showcase their authentic evidence-based skills or achievements in a good language style. Rather they use vague and most common language that is not specific enough to make their career achievements and skills unique.

For instance, if you are a Management Professional and are going to write your resume, the idea of writing your experience will naturally come to you like “Equipped with excellent communication skills” or “Excellent leadership skills” etc. But, I would emphasize that this is very imprecise. This actually doesn’t give a picture of you at all. Rather, the Recruitment experts highlight the need to provide evidence of your achievements such as “Introduced growth hacking strategies and increased the web traffic by 50% without expanding the annual budget.

Below are such buzzwords you should avoid using on your resume

8 Buzzwords you should avoid on Resume and LinkedIn

1. A fast learner

It is fair that you use this buzzwords or cliché in order to show that  you are lacking a certain skill in a certain area and how you would enhance that skill or learn it effectively and quickly if the job was offered to you. However, if you want to mention this natural ability, you need to be tactful enough to position it.

Tip: Mention or describe the time frame that you grasped your new skill quickly

Eg. Learned SEO techniques with HTML within less than a month

2. Experienced (profession/task)

It has become such a common language formula that people mention “Experienced plus profession or Experienced plus task” in resumes such as “An experienced Marketing Professional” or “Experienced in project management”,  or any that follows the same pattern. But unfortunately, this is a very imprecise way to describe your professional experience. This actually does not say anything about the quality of experience you have had. And this writing style does not seem to be something unique to attract the CV reader’s attention among others. Because, almost all have used the same.

Tip: List specifically the performance/achievement/task to highlight your skills and experience

Eg. 1 Prepared monthly and weekly sales reports and reported insights and sales trends to the director

Eg. 2 Managed a team of 10 in the Department of sales and boosted YoY sales in 10%

3. Team Player

This is another overused term that most job seekers use in their resumes. When you actually say that you are a good team player, the CV reader or the recruiter doesn’t have a clue on what kind of a person you actually are. Because, this term is often used and gives a vague idea.  Here you specifically have to show that you have worked in a team

Tip: Mention or describe the time frame that you grasped your new skill quickly

Tip: Mention or describe the time frame that you grasped your new skill quickly

Eg. 1. Collaborated with the digital marketing team to increase online sales by 30% compared to the year before

Eg. 2.Collaborated with the recovery team to reduce the customer churn rates by      10% compared to the previous year.

4. Communication Skills

Saying that you have excellent communication skills does not prove that you really have it. Because, communication skills are always contextual and their effectiveness depends on the situation and outcome. Therefore, showing your communication skills in the most effective way of writing remains of high importance.

Tip: Use evidence of achievement related to the communication skill

Eg. “sales pitch on the newly launched product won a new multinational client”

5. Results-driven

The logic behind why you need not to use this buzzword or cliché is very clear. If you are a results-oriented individual, you must be able to showcase what results you brought to your previous or current employer. Just saying you are a result oriented person truly misguides the reader and probably may hint the recruiter to think that you are pretending to be one who is results-driven without actually having evidence. This could have terrible consequences such as not shortlisting you for the next phase of the recruitment process.

Tip: Specifically mention the results you have brought to the previous/current employer with specific numbers if possible.

Eg. Planned and executed the marketing strategies to increase online sales in 20% by the end of the 2015

6. Hard working

Hard working does not mean how productive you are. You may work hard, but it’s the outcome or the productivity that matters at the end of the day. Therefore, when the recruiter is looking at your resume/CV he/she will also look at the signs that you can productively manage your time to deliver a good outcome.

Tip: Emphasize your time management and productivity skills

Eg. 1 The management has appreciated me many times for never missing a deadline.

Eg. 2 I have never missed a deadline of a task that have been assigned to me for last two years

7. Self-Motivated

The tag self-motivation comes with your own evaluation. That doesn’t particularly convince the recruiter that you really are. Therefore it is not wise to say vaguely that you are self motivated. Rather, using your previous experience and achievements in a tactful way will bring more positives.

Tip: Mention about your independent work you initiated on behalf of your company or in the project you are working for.

Eg. Introduced the prepaid Cable TV system to the company as a strategy and collaborated with both IT and technical departments and implemented within six months.

8. Flexible

Flexible is another that is on top of the resume buzzword list. When you say you are flexible, it is highly unlikely that he/she will get the word you say. Because this is not specific. Especially, when you say flexible, you may be flexible in different ways depending on different contexts. Sometimes your being flexible enough may restrict yourself from going to a better decision at a meeting or a group discussion. Or you may not be able to stand firm on an idea and you can also be compelled to change your idea/decision very easily. Therefore, precision and relevancy and its outcome matter a lot

Tip: show that you have actually been flexible by the work you did and how you adapted to different changing circumstances.

Eg. I was could work with the new line manager and the new system very quickly and meet KPIs soon after the company was merged

Considering these changes and utilizing the resume space with the right keywording will enhance the chance of your Resume being picked by the Application Tracking System. Further, there is a high chance that the recruiter may become interested in your CV/resume to be picked as it has a massive convincing language and presentation. However, we also advise you to choose the best colors for the resumes and the best fonts to increase the chance of being picked even further


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