The Buzzwords You’d Be Wise to Avoid

Author: Angela Campiere       

Creative, strategic, passionate experts may want to rethink their resumes. 

“I’m a creative, strategic thinker who has demonstrated successful leadership skills in specialized project management.”

This sentence sounds like it hits the mark in describing someone’s skills and abilities but it could be doing more harm than good on a LinkedIn profile or resume. Why? Because those are the buzzwords that are on everyone else’s profile and resume.

LinkedIn compiles the most popular words on profiles nationwide. Its top 10 buzzwords for 2018 in the United States are:

  1. Specialized
  2. Experienced
  3. Leadership
  4. Skilled
  5. Passionate
  6. Expert
  7. Motivated
  8. Creative
  9. Strategic
  10. Successful

“Take a glimpse at these buzzwords and think about swapping them out to help you stand out from the crowd and tell your own individual story,” says Blair Decembrele, career expert at LinkedIn.

She’s not the only expert urging job seekers to choose their words carefully.

Liz Ryan, the CEO/founder of Human Workplace and a Forbes contributor, wrote earlier this year that: “The most common resume mistake is to fill a resume with so much meaningless jargon (“Results-oriented professional / Motivated self-starter / Proven track record of success”) that it’s almost impossible for the person reading your resume to determine what you’ve done in your career, or what you’re trying to do.”

A recruiter is said to spend an average of only six seconds on a resume before making an initial decision, so, experts say, make sure that you are providing examples of things accomplished, not just a list of clichés.

“It’s important that the words you choose to describe your experience, passions, and goals reflect your professional identity and demonstrate what you’re in it for,” Decembrele says.

Once job seekers have the right words, Decembrele adds, they can start thinking about how to really make their resume stand out. She suggests adding visuals, or being sure to describe activities and hobbies done outside of work, like volunteering.

Now, if you’ve cleaned up your resume and LinkedIn profile, find out what questions you should be asking during your next job interview.

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