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Top buzzwords to avoid on your resume (or on LinkedIn)

Your resume may be committing some basic sins and keeping you from that dream job – are you shooting yourself in the foot?

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Get that job, dump those clichés

It’s easy to fall into the buzzword trap on your resume or LinkedIn profile. You might feel these buzzwords make your resume stand out, especially with the automated resume screening tools some hiring departments use during initial rounds of the hiring process. You might feel these words make your profile look powerful and show you’ve got what it takes.

It turns out, if you fill your resume with vague terms, you risk sounding insincere on something you’ve put a lot of work into. LinkedIn has put together their list of the most clichéd buzzwords so you can go scrub your profile or resume to make sure you aren’t falling into the rut of using the same words everyone else does.

Motivated, driven, responsible, blah blah blah

Are you a motivated, passionate, and creative individual with extensive experience? Are you driven and responsible, with an impressive track record? Are you strategic with expert organizational skills?

If you are any of the bolded words above, then you are a snooze fest to potential employers and have fallen into a pattern of using words that have no meaning at this point. You want to differentiate yourself and stand out, so don’t just plug in another awkward word you found in a thesaurus either. You need to reach for something that is going leave a genuine impression of yourself, so it’s best to turn those buzzwords into specific examples of how you’ve lived up to the word.

Another tip: give your LinkedIn summary context

Some more quality advice for your profile or resume from the powers that be over at LinkedIn is to give your summary context. Think about what you are trying to say about yourself with the buzzword and then covey it in a way that is significant.

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If you are creative, illustrate that on your resume with a specific example of something you’ve done creatively in the workplace that stood out and how it helped bring results.

Oh, and that profile picture…

You should also consider your profile photo a little more closely. Your photo sends a message that is hard to articulate in a very condensed resume, so it’s important to use one that helps show your integrity.

You should be mindful of this on all social media platforms too because chances are, you will be Googled. If you want a job, you don’t want to do anything to hurt your chances of getting it because someone in the hiring department made a snap judgment about you from your Facebook profile pic.

Crafting a strong headline, and listing your skills

You will want a strong headline that is specific to your talents and has no buzzwords, of course. You need to grab attention so as not to be skimmed over by the reader. You want to show any volunteer work on your profile as well. Volunteering shows you are mindful of others and that you use your free time productively.

Listing your skills as an overview of your talents is important while also taking into consideration how you will elaborate on them in an interview if asked. Reach out to your mentors, your fans, and coworkers that you have worked with on successful project and have them vouch for you. Having someone in your corner backing you up speaks volumes. Your future employer is making an investment when they hire you and using these tips will help you show your true character on your LinkedIn profile or resume.

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Written By

Emily Crews is a staff writer at The American Genius and holds a degree in English from Western Kentucky University. Reading, music, black coffee, and her two little girls rule her life. She sees herself one day running a tiny bookstore at the end of the Earth. In the meantime, she is thrilled to write for AG and also does copy editing (team Oxford comma) to keep her brain from turning to mush.

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