Buzzwords to Include and Avoid on Resumes

Buzzworda word or phrase, often sounding authoritative or technical, that is a vogue term in a particular profession, field of study, popular culture, etc. (Source:

Gaining Hiring Managers’ attention with your resume is vital as it is the first impression you give them and will hopefully result in an interview. In our previous blog post, we discussed tips on how to make your resume stand out from the crowd because it is crucial to know how to make your resume catch someone’s eye. One of the tips we shared was about including key words from job descriptions in your resume. However, your resume can appear weak if the key words or ‘buzzwords’ included are generic and/or overused. The best buzzwords are the ones that apply directly to the position you are targeting. Using the right phrases is key to getting your resume to the top of the pile.

PATH Employment Services has provided the lists below to help you understand which buzzwords should and should not be included on resumes.

Hiring Managers appreciate the use of “action words” in resumes such as:

– Achieved
– Improved
– Managed
– Trained/Mentored
– Volunteered
– Created
– Resolved
– Influenced
– Ideas
– Increased/Decreased
– Negotiated
– Launched
– Revenue/Profit
– Won
– Under-Budget

Unless you back the following words up with proof, you should leave them off your resume:

– Best of breed
– Go-getter
– Go-to-person
– Synergy
– Thought leadership
– Think outside the box
– Results-driven
– Detail-oriented
– Team Player
– Bottom-line
– Hard Worker
– Dynamic
– Self-motivated
– Proactively
– Strategic Thinking
– Track record
– Value add

When writing your resume, it is important to remember that it may take a bit of work to create one that will get you noticed. Resumes are much more than just a list of your accomplishments. While buzzwords can be beneficial, you should not fill your resume with a plethora of them. Rather, always focus your resume on the results you have achieved thus far.

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