There is no doubt that resume writing can be tough. You want to present yourself in the best light possible while still sounding authentic and personable. You don’t want it to sound like a robot wrote your resume or leave a hiring manager scratching their head wondering what you’re trying to say. Filling your resume with common buzzwords and clichés can do just that.
Buzzwords typically hold little value and are widely overused. They may sound flashy, but they often offer generic or vague insight into who you are and what you can do. These terms can also act as fluff taking up precious space that could be used more effectively.
Here are eight resume buzzwords you should avoid and what you can use instead:
- Team Player
Working well with others is something that is expected in the workplace. Instead of telling an employer that this is something you can do, show them. Use action verbs such as collaborated or partnered and tell what you achieved together as a team.
- Responsible For
Don’t tell an employer what you were responsible for, tell them what you did. Rather than saying you were “responsible for a managing a team” come straight out and say “managed a team of five sales representatives in doing X, Y, Z.” Skip “responsible for” and go right to the action verb. You want your resume to show accomplishments, not a laundry list of tasks.
Why say you’re results-driven when you can demonstrate quantifiable results? Use percentages, dollar amounts, time frames, and other metrics. How much did you grow revenue, reduce wait times, or cut costs? How long did it take? For example, “Increased sales by 30% within six months through [strategies used].”
- Hard Working
Once again, this is another area where metrics come in handy. Demonstrate your time management, productivity, and efficiency through numbers. Show an employer what you are capable of achieving and how you can benefit their business.
Being self-motivated is subjective and vague. Show your initiative by highlighting projects, programs, or process improvements that you directed. Focus on how you recognized a problem or an opportunity and influenced change.
A similar term would be “experienced.” Stating that you are a seasoned professional or experienced professional serves no purpose. An employer can see from your job history how much experience you have in various roles or industries. Emphasize your strengths and abilities that you have developed through those years of experience instead.
Paying attention to details is important in many roles, but consider how you can demonstrate your ability to do so. Are you good at analyzing data and tracking progress? Have you put changes in place to minimize errors? Do you maintain documents or reports for audits or compliance?
- Outside-the-Box Thinker
This is a phrase that has been around for decades and is way past its prime. When everyone says they think outside the box, it loses its impact, and rather than standing out from the crowd, you’re blending in. Focus on achievements that show how you creatively solved a problem, overcame an obstacle, won over a difficult client, or initiated a successful program.
One key takeaway when it comes to removing buzzwords is that actions speak louder than words. Fill your resume with action verbs and powerful statements that demonstrate your abilities and the results you have achieved. Shift away from adding fluffy buzzwords that bring little value to your resume.
The team at Grammar Chic can help you craft a polished, professional resume that emphasizes your strengths and accomplishments without relying on overused buzzwords or clichés. Contact us today to get started!