Writing a resume? Banish buzzwords.

When it comes to applying for a new job, stand out from the crowd by giving resume buzzwords the flick.

In terms of your career, you’re probably passionate and motivated with extensive experience, right? The trouble is, so is everyone else.

These buzzwords are among the most commonly used across Australian LinkedIn profiles. Some of the other favourites include ‘creative’, ‘strategic’, and ‘driven’.

Peppering your resume with buzzwords may be the easy option. After all, everyone else is doing it. But you certainly won’t be doing your job prospects any favours.

The wording of your resume is crucial. Buzzwords and worn out clichés won’t catch a hiring manager’s eye, and in some cases they are downright meaningless. So let’s take a look at some of the main terms job seekers should avoid in order to compile a high quality resume.

Team player

This one’s guaranteed to have your reader yawning. Instead, try highlighting a project that saw you collaborate with colleagues to successfully meet a benchmark or complete a project.

Hard worker

Any employer will expect you to work hard – that’s a given. But if by “hard worker” you mean you bring energy to a role, make that clear to prospective employers by explaining how you channel that energy. Describe a situation where you went beyond your job description.

Problem solver

Solve the problem of this tired buzzword by illustrating a time when you applied critical thinking to overcome a challenge.


Sure, flexibility may be a selling point. The trouble is, the term can have many meanings in the context of a resume – are you flexible about work hours, or your role, or where you work? It makes sense to add detail and clarity. For instance, explain how you adapted to a major restructure, or describe how you readily took new duties on board when a co-worker’s left the organisation.

Just as an employer will gloss over buzzwords, they’re unlikely to read through every word of an excessively long resume. Rather than saying you’re ‘strategic’ for instance, simply state that you doubled revenue growth.

Striking a balance between compelling descriptions and specific achievements can see you shortlisted for a job interview.

Want more resume writing tips? Read our article on how to write an effective CV.

This article was adapted from Writing a resume? 6 buzzwords to avoid at all costs which originally appeared on The Robert Half blog.

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