Recognizing Resume Buzzwords & Cliches… And How to Avoid Them!

Resumes serve as a crucial tool to showcase our abilities when searching for a job. However, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of using overused buzzwords and clichés that can make our resumes bland and unimpressive. Recognizing these overused phrases and finding ways to replace them with more meaningful language is essential for standing out to potential employers.

Given the competitive nature of job hunting, it’s necessary to avoid pitfalls that could harm our prospects. As we recognize and replace clichéd and overused buzzwords in our resumes, we can create a more unique and engaging document that truly highlights our accomplishments and skills.

Key Takeaways

  • Be aware of common buzzwords and clichés that can make a resume unoriginal
  • Recognize the pitfalls of using overused language in our resumes
  • Focus on crafting a unique and engaging resume with meaningful content

Recognizing Resume Buzzwords and Cliches

Common Buzzwords and Cliches

To create an impactful resume, it’s essential for us to identify and avoid using buzzwords and cliches. Common resume buzzwords include “hard worker”, “creative”, and being “responsible for” certain tasks. These words can appear vague and unoriginal as they do not showcase specific skills or achievements. Resume clichés, on the other hand, are phrases like “proven ability” and “results-driven” that can sound generic and lack substance.

Instead of using these buzzwords, we should focus on providing concrete examples and quantitative achievements. For instance, replace “hard worker” with a statement like “increased sales by 38%” 1, or replace “creative” with “designed a unique marketing campaign that drove a 50% increase in web traffic” 2.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

To ensure our resumes stand out and accurately represent our abilities, we need to be mindful of some key red flags as well:

  1. Vague or subjective words: These words do not give a clear indication of our skills or achievements and may give an impression that we’re not straightforward or confident in our abilities 3.

  2. Overused phrases: We should avoid overused phrases like “results-oriented” or “excellent communication skills”, as they could make our resumes blend in rather than stand out 4.

  3. Lack of context: When describing our skills and experience, it’s essential to provide context, such as numbers and examples, to showcase our accomplishments.

By recognizing and avoiding these common resume buzzwords and cliches, we can effectively create a resume that highlights our skills, stands out to potential employers, and ultimately helps us land the ideal job.


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The Pitfalls of Resume Buzzwords and Clichés

Issues with Communication

Using buzzwords and clichés on a resume can create challenges in conveying your true capabilities. Phrases like “team player” and “strong communication skills” are often overused and lack originality. As a result, they become vague and subjective, making it difficult for recruiters and hiring managers to discern your real strengths and accomplishments.

To improve communication on your resume, we suggest steering clear of these generic terms and instead focusing on specific examples of your skills in action. For instance, instead of claiming to be a team player, share a detailed account of a project you collaborated on, highlighting the role you played and the successful outcome.

Impression on Hiring Managers

When a hiring manager or recruiter comes across a resume filled with buzzwords and clichés, it can give the impression that the candidate is trying to inflate their qualifications or even mask deficits in their knowledge or experience. This will likely reduce your chances of being considered for the job.

In order to make your job application stand out, tailor your resume to the particular position you are applying for, highlighting the most relevant skills and accomplishments. Research the company culture and values, and ensure that your resume reflects those aspects as well.

By emphasizing the unique qualities and experiences that make you a strong fit for the role, you will not only present yourself as an authentic candidate but also make it easier for hiring managers to understand your true potential. Avoiding buzzwords and clichés on your resume is crucial for creating a lasting impression that gets you one step closer to landing that coveted job.

Avoiding Overused Phrases

In our quest to create a distinctive and impactful resume, it’s crucial to steer clear of overused phrases, cliches, and buzzwords. These often make us sound unoriginal and can diminish the value of our unique experiences and skills. To assist in crafting a compelling resume, let’s dive into a key area where we can make meaningful improvements: “Action Verbs Vs. Buzzwords.”

Action Verbs Vs. Buzzwords

In the context of a resume, action verbs are powerful tools that help us convey our accomplishments and responsibilities in a clear and dynamic way. Buzzwords, on the other hand, are overused terms that often lack substance and make our resume blend into the sea of other job seekers. To avoid falling into the buzzword trap, we should strive to replace them with strong action verbs that demonstrate our expertise and the impact we’ve had in our previous roles.

For example, consider the word “innovative.” It’s a buzzword that is frequently used to explain how one has been creative in their role. However, it does not communicate the specific actions they took to drive innovation. Instead of using “innovative,” we could replace it with action verbs such as “developed,” “initiated,” or “revamped” to provide concrete examples of our creative contributions.

Another buzzword we often encounter is “thought leader.” This term may hold some weight in small doses, but when used without context, it can come across as vague and pretentious. To avoid this perception, we can demonstrate our thought leadership through action verbs like “mentored,” “influenced,” or “educated” to showcase the valuable knowledge and expertise we’ve shared with others.

Passion is undeniably important in our job search, but describing ourselves as “passionate” on our resume might not have the desired impact. Instead, we can use action verbs that highlight our dedication to our work, such as “devoted,” “committed,” or “invested.” These words provide a more concrete representation of our passion and what we bring to the table.

In summary, when crafting our resume, focusing on more descriptive action verbs will help us present a clear and distinct representation of our qualifications. By doing so, we will better position ourselves in the competitive job market and ensure that our resume stands out as unique and engaging.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are common buzzwords to avoid in a resume?

Some common buzzwords to avoid in a resume include “hard worker”, “creative”, and “responsible for” source. These terms are often seen as vague and overused, making them less effective in communicating your skills and accomplishments.

How can cliches negatively impact your resume?

Cliches can negatively impact your resume by making it look generic and unoriginal. Hiring managers and recruiters tend to see these overused phrases frequently, which may cause them to pass over your resume in favor of a more unique and personalized one source.

What are effective alternatives to resume buzzwords?

Effective alternatives to resume buzzwords involve providing clear, specific examples and data-driven metrics to demonstrate your accomplishments and skills. For instance, instead of saying you have “good communication skills”, show how you’ve effectively communicated in previous roles with examples of successful projects or collaborations source.

How can one identify overused phrases in their resume?

To identify overused phrases in your resume, we recommend comparing it to other resumes in your industry and using professional resume templates as a reference. Also, pay close attention to vague words or generic phrases that don’t effectively showcase your unique skills and achievements.

What techniques can help in reducing cliches and buzzwords?

To reduce cliches and buzzwords in your resume, focus on providing specific examples and quantifying your results whenever possible. Use action verbs and clear, concise language to emphasize the unique skills and accomplishments that set you apart from other candidates source.

How can a resume stand out without using buzzwords and cliches?

A resume can stand out without using buzzwords and cliches by prioritizing a clear, concise, and targeted structure over generic or overused terms. Customize your resume for each job application by emphasizing the skills and experiences that are most relevant and valuable to the position. Utilize strong action verbs and data-driven examples to accurately present your accomplishments and make a compelling case for your candidacy source.

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