Are You Caught Up in the Resume Buzzword Hype?

Think your resume has to be filled with buzzwords and extreme language to cut through the clutter?

You’ve been given some bad advice.

When you’re drafting a resume, space is at a premium – and every word counts! Wasting “real estate” on overused terms that don’t resonate with your reader may knock you out of contention.

So, how can your resume catch a hiring manager’s eye, without it reading like one big cliché? Don’t believe the hype! Ditch the buzzwords and use these tips from PrideStaff to position yourself as the ideal candidate:

Skip the lame buzzwords.

Those descriptive “power phrases” like “results-driven leader,” “self-starter” and “detail-oriented professional”? Frankly, these are subjective terms that don’t convey real information. Measurable results, accomplishments and contributions, however, make it obvious to your reader what kind of candidate you really are.

Include industry terminology.

Buzzwords are essentially meaningless, but be careful not to confuse them with key industry terms (which are descriptors and technical terms relevant to your field). When applying to a specific position, find out everything you can about the job’s responsibilities, requirements and desired soft skills. Then, use that information to customize your resume, incorporating keywords germane to the company, position and industry.

Use action-oriented language.

Include verbs that help you accurately and vividly describe your work experience. Here are a few better alternatives to buzzwords:

  • Increased/decreased
  • Achieved
  • Created
  • Managed
  • Solved
  • Promoted
  • Negotiated

Strike the right balance between modesty and hype.

Entry-level job seekers, in particular, tend to lack confidence. As a result, they often downplay their accomplishments on their resumes. While it’s essential to be honest, job seekers still must present their experience in the best possible light to stand out. So if you’re concerned that you may be selling yourself short – or pushing the honesty envelope a bit too far – get a few outside opinions on your resume.

Looking for a job?


Whether you’re an experienced individual or new to the workforce, PrideStaff can get you to work quickly. When you register with us, we can help you:

  • improve your resume, cover letter and interviewing skills;
  • access opportunities that match your level of experience;
  • earn money while you conduct your own search.

Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.