Buzzwords You Should NEVER Put on Your Resume and Ten Replacement Action Verbs

Buzzwords You Should NEVER Put on Your Resume and Ten Replacement Action Verbs

There are some buzzwords that seem to express just what we want to convey to the recruiters, but what we are missing here is that these buzzwords come across empty; without the meaning that we intended. Therefore, we are at least wasting valuable resume space and taking the chance that those buzzwords are causing harm to our chances of getting an interview.

Below are some of the buzzwords that might be most damaging to your resume.

Hard worker:
We think this says: “I’m willing to work long hours”. This is just stating that you will work the hours that are needed. It would be better to state an example, such as, “Worked long hours during staff shortage”.

Creative, outside the box, innovative:
To us, this says that we come up with good ideas. The recruiters will be thinking “show me!”. So, explain one or two great ideas that you came up with and how you implemented them.

Excellent communicator:
We think this says “I know how to talk to people and listen to them”. Recruiters are thinking “He likes to burn time chatting”. So instead state that you “listened to customers” and “explained policies”.

You may think this buzzword says that you can be depended on. Recruiters will just roll their eyes. Therefore, tell them where you were responsible, such as, “Managed the budget” or “Directed floor traffic”.

You think this says that you are “one of the best”. This is nothing more than a brag. Instead of saying that you are an expert at something, demonstrate your expertise with accomplishments, such as:

  • “Published 10 articles in industry magazines.”
  • “Delivered keynote address at three industry conferences.”
  • “Gave a talk at 2017 Security Conference.”


Familiar with:
Another vague phrase that will not help you to get an interview. Instead, be specific: “Repaired Apple computers to the board level for three years” or “used Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on a daily basis”.


Ten Action Verbs That Will Help Your Resume:

  1. Accelerated
  2. Achieved
  3. Added
  4. Awarded
  5. Changed
  6. Contributed
  7. Decreased
  8. Delivered
  9. Eliminated
  10. Exceeded