Recruiters and hiring managers receive a huge number of Resumes for each job they advertise. So, it’s hard to get their attention at the best of times.

One certain way to not grab their attention is by using stereotypical, overused, bland and often meaningless Resume buzzwords.

These are words and phrases that will appear in four of every five Resumes that recruiters and hiring managers review. These Resume buzzwords will be clear indicators to them that they should stop reading and move onto the next Resume.

A strong Resume should be clear, concise and give a good representation of your skills and experience without relying on empty or general statements.

To make sure that you’re submitting the strongest application you can, keep reading to find out the Resume buzzwords to avoid.

Resume Buzzwords to Avoid – Your Summary Statement:

  1. “Results-oriented professional” – If I had a dollar for every time I’d seen a Resume buzzword like this in an opening statement, I’d be living the life of a wealthy man. This buzzword should be a given, and recruiters and hiring managers will see this as obvious. They will even possibly stop reading immediately!
  2. “Extensive experience” – Don’t get me wrong, experience is a great asset! If you can clearly state the key skills and experience you’ve made use of, all the better. What you don’t want to do is be vague – recruiters and hiring managers will prefer to see definitive Resume buzzwords and phrases. For example, “A telecommunications specialist with 5 years of experience” is a more effective Resume buzzword. Then you can move onto the valuable assets you can bring to the company you’re applying to.
  3. “With strong communications skills” – Yes, many job adverts will ask for candidates who have communication skills, that’s true. Stating this without evidence, however, is weak and ineffective. If the role requires this, don’t state it here – show it with evidence in your Employment History.

Resume Buzzwords to Avoid – Your Key Skills:

  1. “Computer skills” – These are perhaps the vaguest and most common Resume buzzwords that I see – they’re utterly meaningless! Do you mean to say that you’re experienced in using Microsoft Office to develop professional documents and manage the client registry? Or did you boot-up the computer and play Solitaire? The reader doesn’t know!
  2. “Team player” – Here is another Resume buzzword that job adverts will often ask for. But, again, this is a Resume buzzword to avoid using because it doesn’t really say much. You’re better off demonstrating this in your Employment History, showing how you’ve worked in a team to achieve a significant outcome.
  3. “Hard-working” – Can you imagine someone writing ‘Lazy’ on a Resume? Not in the slightest. Recruiters and hiring managers will be looking at your experience and achievements to see how you’ve been hard-working – just saying it is an empty statement and won’t interest them at all.

Resume Buzzwords to Avoid – Your Employment History:

  1. “Responsible for” – While what you’re describing might be in your job description, using the Resume buzzword “Responsible for” isn’t the best way to describe it. Stronger Resume buzzwords for this include “Managed”, “Oversaw”, “Led” or similar Resume words.
  2. “Successfully” – This Resume buzzword has mixed opinions. While it’s an effective way of showing that you ensured the success of a project, some recruiters and hiring managers may claim that you obviously succeeded in what you did, otherwise you wouldn’t be mentioning it. Simply stating what you did and the accomplished result should be strong enough for most readers.
  3. “Contributed to” – This is a Resume buzzword that we see pretty frequently. This phrase makes it onto this list because it’s too vague. This could mean anything from “Led the project” to “Made the coffee”’. So, without giving the precise nature of your work and its accomplishments, the reader won’t be interested.

Resume Buzzwords to Avoid – Key Things to Remember:

  • Avoid buzzwords and phrases that are vague.
  • Show your skills and experience using effective buzzwords on your Resume. Don’t simply summarise them in a single, general word.
  • Just because a job advert asks for something doesn’t mean you should list it in its exact words.
  • Use strong Resume buzzwords to describe your responsibilities.
  • Avoid buzzword clichés on your Resume!

If you need help to ensure your Resume overcomes these common errors and meets the standards of Australian hiring managers and recruiters, please get in touch so we can help you.

We wish you all the best in your job search!
Careers Team, Career Success Australia