Busting Business Buzzwords

Here’s an article I came across from Time about the worst words to put on a resume, as of last year. Here are a few in case you don’t want to click over:

  • Responsible
  • Effective
  • Creative


Wha?What? Oh, sorry, I was sleeping through the list.

Unfortunately for us, the business world likes to file nubs off faster than 20 grit sandpaper. They don’t mean to, I don’t think. They just do things like implement computer pre-screening programs that find resumes with words like those above and pick them out as golden stars. Which is why I’d argue these are not the “worst” but rather the “most used” words on resumes.

Well two can play at this game! Here are a few ways you can nub up your resume while still appealing to the robot who makes the cuts.

Tell stories: If you were responsible for turning a bad situation on its head, write about the details. Tell the story succinctly but candidly and include illustrative details. As the manager, I increased morale by supporting the team’s new ideas and eliminating the “blame game.” 

Use Numbers: If you were effective, prove it. As the manager, I increased morale. This resulted in an increase of productive work hours by 25 percent and a 15 percent reduction in turnover. 

Show don’t tell: Everyone thinks they’re creative. Since you actually are, you need to demonstrate this fact. As the manager, I facilitated weekly knitting classes to improve morale. 

Bottom line: Using buzzwords isn’t enough. Buzzwords might get you in the door but nubs do the talking.