10 Overused Words To Avoid

Put the “buzz” in your resume by avoiding buzzwords

24/07/2014BY: Tracey Mesken

When trying to write a cut-through resume, it’s easy to resort to words that you think will impress an employer. But every time you include a ‘buzzword’ that isn't backed up by a substantial fact or evidence, your resume becomes less relevant and more like pages of hot air.

There’s no doubt that certain words can drive home a point when used correctly. Too often though they are used without enough context, and that’s when they become white noise to the person reading your resume.

Buzzwords are seemingly smart sounding adjectives that don’t say anything specific. Sure you may be “creative” and a “high achiever” but without backing this up with specific examples of why they are just empty statements.

Examples of some of the most commonly used (and overused) buzzwords are:

  • Energetic

  • Confident

  • Creative

  • Effective

  • Motivated

  • High Achiever

  • Expert

  • Responsible

  • Patient

  • Organised

  • Driven

  • Dynamic

Focus on action words and measurable results

Action words contextualise your achievements and do a better job of showing the ‘how’ instead of just the ‘what’. Tell the employer about how you created, increased, drove or influenced something.

This is done by including measurable outcomes that resulted from your actions  (eg increased productivity by x%, generated $x in sales etc)

Great action words to include in your resume:

  • Led

  • Managed

  • Established

  • Improved

  • Generated

  • Influenced

  • Coordinated

  • Motivated

  • Resolved

  • Directed

  • Supervised

  • Increased

If you find yourself using certain words simply because they sound right, regardless of how they apply to you, you’re in buzzword territory.  Either ditch these buzzwords for more meaningful statements, or support them with examples that clearly explain how you work, your attitudes and achievements.