Buzzwords and clichés can be the stuff of nightmares for diligent HR leaders. Once in a blue moon, a CV may pass across your desk which is littered with nonsensical jargon and effusive phrases – all sound and fury signifying nothing.
So, how do you sort the wheat from the chaff? And which words should you be looking out for, in particular?
A recent report form Robert Half Canada found that certain words are more loaded than others when it comes to making hiring managers cringe.
We’ve listed them below, alongside Robert Half Canada’s explanation as to why they should be avoided.
"Familiar with" — a close cousin to "knowledge of" and "experience with" in the family tree of nebulous phrases — can send your resume to the bottom of a potential employer's pile of applications. These vague phrases say nothing about your level of knowledge in a certain area.
'Leverage' and 'utilize'
Many applicants insert business buzzwords into their resumes in an attempt to sound more accomplished or sophisticated. But rather than making you sound in the know, this type of jargon can make it seem as though you can't communicate in a straightforward manner. These words just mean "use”.
One of the biggest mistakes job applicants make is including a long, drawn out list of all of their work duties in a current or past position. Hiring managers likely know the types of tasks you performed in a previous role and don't need a detailed breakdown.
Human resources professionals might love this phrase, but it is a real mouthful in a resume and likely to make a hiring manager's eyes glaze over.
Few things in the workplace are actually unique. Having a designation does not make you uniquely qualified — it makes you designated.
'Proactive' and 'hardworking'
These words don't add anything specific to your resume or cover letter unless you can back it up. If you want to show that you're proactive, give a specific example with the impact you made in a prior role.