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10 Overused Resume Buzzwords

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Writing your resume or your LinkedIn profile is always going to be difficult, but far too many of us are falling prey to cliché buzzwords in an attempt to sell ourselves. These overused words and phrases are bound to hinder rather than help so we’ve listed 10 of the worst culprits for you to avoid.

Great Communication Skills

Possibly one of the most pointless points to make in regards to finding a job – prospective employers will expect you to be able to conduct a conversation. Rather than using this phrase, give examples of your communication skills (unless you have a speech disability,  in which case you should probably let them know).

Writing your resume or your LinkedIn profile is always going to be difficult, but far too many of us are falling prey to cliché buzzwordsClick To Tweet

Problem Solving

Stating that you are an apt problem solver is, again, a pretty pointless waste of characters. A prospective employer will generally expect you to be able to solve a work-related problem without turning into a quivering mess.

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If you feel the need to tell a prospective employer that you are ‘motivated’ or ‘self-motivated’ you’ll need to go into a little more detail. Simply stating you are motivated doesn’t suggest anything more in-depth than the fact that you are willing to get out of bed in the morning.

Hard Working

This isn’t a statement that will see your resume moved into the ‘yes pile’ – if you think you’re hard-working, prove it! Give details of past projects and tight deadlines that required extra effort on your part.

Track Record

Stating that you have a track record of something isn’t enough to persuade an employer to consider you – avoid this phrase and instead focus on details. Your resume acts as a track record anyway. The same goes for stating you have “extensive experience”.


Whether or not this word is appropriate to use really depends on what type of job you are applying for – but overall you’d expect anyone applying for a job to be capable of organizing themselves. I mean, can you tie your shoes?

be creative


Shy away from stating that you are creative, this, along with other adjectives are completely empty without proof – use words that are specific to the job you are applying for and, again, give examples.

Team Player

Avoid stating that you are a team player; instead, give examples of how you have worked successfully with colleagues in the past. Outline details of collaborative projects and how your role in the task aided others and produced a final result.

Strong Work Ethic

Right, and this sets you apart from other prospects how exactly? Set yourself apart by avoiding this phrase and instead offer examples of how you have succeeded in the past – have you gone the extra mile? If yes, then shout about it.

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References Available on Request

Prospective employers aren’t going to think twice about asking for references if they want them – you might as well delete this line from your resume completely.

Get rid of the fluff and get to the point if you want to be noticed!

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