Ditch These Resume Buzzwords to Stand Out in the Job Market

Are you the type of hard-working innovator who's exceptional at communication? Well, guess what? So is nearly every other job applicant out there, at least according to their resumes. It's high time to break free from tired resume buzzwords that hold little sway in the eyes of discerning recruiters and hiring managers.

Here's a rundown of resume buzzwords and phrases you should steer clear of, along with some savvy tips on how to make the most of that prime real estate on your job application materials.

  1. Hard Worker

What it seems to convey: "I'm dedicated to excelling in my role."

Let's face it, being a hard worker is a given. But merely stating it won't set you apart. Instead, demonstrate your work ethic with tangible examples of how you consistently go above and beyond.

Better phrase: Incorporate "achieved" and substantiate it with accomplishments. For instance, "Achieved sales goal for three consecutive years with a reduced staff" showcases your dedication without resorting to generic phrases.

  1. Creative / Outside the Box / Innovative

What it seems to convey: "I'm full of fresh ideas."

These buzzwords often evoke more eye-rolls than admiration. If you truly possess innovative thinking, prove it with concrete examples of how you've spearheaded novel ideas or processes.

Better phrase: Opt for "created" to highlight your ability to generate original concepts.

  1. Excellent Communicator

What it seems to convey: "I excel at interpersonal skills."

Actions speak louder than words. Instead of proclaiming your communication prowess, illustrate it with instances where your effective communication led to tangible results.

Better phrases: Use "listen" and "improve" to showcase how your communication skills enhanced company operations. For example, "I listened to customer feedback and implemented a streamlined process, boosting efficiency by two hours."

  1. Responsible

What it seems to convey: "I'm accountable for this."

Vague terms like "responsible" lack specificity. Clarify your role by detailing the level of authority you held and your contributions to projects.

Better phrases: Opt for precise words like "managed" or "directed," accompanied by quantifiable achievements. Numbers add weight to your accomplishments and catch the eye of recruiters.

  1. Expert

What it seems to convey: "I'm the best in the field."

True expertise doesn't need self-proclamation. Let your experience and achievements do the talking.

Better phrases: Use action-oriented words like "published" or "delivered" to showcase your professional prowess. Highlight your years of experience and provide examples that underscore your authority in the field.

In Conclusion: Skip the Clichés, Show Your Value

Refresh your resume by eliminating tired buzzwords and focusing on tangible accomplishments and skills that resonate with hiring managers. Want to ensure your efforts are hitting the mark? Get a free resume evaluation to identify areas for improvement and boost your confidence when applying for jobs.

Source: Monster
Photo: Getty

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