CV buzzwords that have lost their sting

Apparently, you can wear a word out. Here are the most overused buzzwords of 2013.

CV buzzwords that have lost their sting

Let’s get one thing straight: buzzwords are a good thing. Keywords that have meaning and deliver the message succinctly and clearly are a fantastic tool. Hey, they are essentially the hallmark of language! But you can have too much of a good thing.

As HRM Online readers will know, fluff and meaningless terminology is easy to see through, and will not impress anybody paying attention. Unfortunately, it is also terribly easy to put together something resembling a sentence just using buzzwords that lose all meaning in the process (and I’ll prove it later!).

So, as we prepare for the new year, it might be time to take a red pen to your resume, LinkedIn profile and press releases, and trim down any overused lingo. To help you with that, LinkedIn has compiled the top 10 overused buzzwords of 2013:

  • Responsible
  • Strategic
  • Effective
  • Creative
  • Innovative
  • Expert
  • Positive
  • Passionate
  • Driven
  • Dynamic

But hey, let’s be fair. Through responsible and strategic use of these words, experts can demonstrate their creative approach to positive results. These 10 words can tell someone a lot about how passionate, dynamic, innovative and driven you are in your field.
See what we did there?
Key HR takeaways
When trimming down one’s LinkedIn profile, it takes more than just replacing these overused buzzwords with next year’s list. LinkedIn recommended the following best practices:

  • Tie words to actual results. Instead of using words with no real weight, use specific results to demonstrate your competence in skill areas.
  • Use active language. Don’t just say you are responsible for something – demonstrate how your responsibility delivered results.
  • Let others vouch for you. People won’t take your word for it. Seek out endorsements and recommendations from your peers and former employers/colleagues to verify your talents.


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