Sure, you’re a hard-working innovator with excellent communication skills—unfortunately, so is nearly every job applicant you’re competing with, at least according to their resumes. It’s time to break from hackneyed buzzwords that carry zero weight in the eyes of a recruiter or hiring manager.
“Any cliché seems shallow in a resume,” says Lori Scherwin, executive coach and founder of New York City-based Strategize That.
Check out this list of buzzwords and phrases you should avoid on your resume, along with some tips on how to better use that precious real estate on your job application materials.
‘Creative,’ ‘outside the box,’ ‘innovative’
What you think it says: “I come up with good, new ideas.”
“If you could actually think ‘outside the box,’ you’d be able to phrase it less blandly,” Scherwin says. These trite descriptors can actually undermine your case if you don’t back them up with specifics.
To really show off your creativity, shares examples of times that you developed and implemented new ideas or processes. If you work in a creative field, such as advertising, pursue industry awards, which can serve as outside validation for the uniqueness of your work.
Better buzzword: Include the word “created.” It shows that you’ve produced something new and original.