Buzzwords are killing your CV!

Employment buzzwords have been building and building over the decades and unfortunately, they are now actually quite damaging according to some industry experts. Here at Park we believe in giving you the best competitve advantage and some insight into what buzzwords are making you stand out and what buzzwords are killing your chances!

Some of the major problems with using buzzwords, according to Mary Lorenz, a corporate-communications manager at CareerBuilder, are that they have become so overused that they've lost all meaning and they don't differentiate the job seeker from other candidates because they're so generic.

How can you avoid this from happening? Here at Park, the show and don't tell rule stands firm. The line manager will be far more engaged in your profile if you are showing them an example around the buzzword instead of just you saying it and moving on.

Here are some other area's we feel you might want to look into. If you can't give a clear example - it needs to be avoided!

  1. 'Leadership'

According to LinkedIn, "leadership" was the top buzzword on its user's profiles. And if the word doesn't help you stand out on your LinkedIn profile, you can bet it won't make your CV more eye-catching, either. Rather than saying you have excellent leadership skills, you'd do better to highlight specific examples of when you demonstrated these skills and what kind of results you saw. Park Advice: Include if you can justify with a clear example.

  1. 'Exceptional communicator'

Tina Nicolai, founder of Résumé Writers' Ink, who also claims to have read over 40,000 CV's, previously told Business Insider that skills like being an "exceptional communicator" are actually baseline expectations in today's market. Stating that you are really great at communication isn't, in fact, saying very much. If you feel compelled to keep this in - check your spelling! Park Advice: Avoid

  1. 'Best of Breed'

When CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,200 hiring managers, it found "best of breed" to be the most irritating term to be seen on a CV. The phrase offers little meaning and doesn't help differentiate candidates. And as someone who comes from a family who currently has 6 dogs, you can imagine what I think of when I read it! Park Advice: Avoid

  1. 'Results-driven'

Instead of simply saying that you're results-driven, write about key examples of what you did to actually drive results... Especially if you have some figures to back it up. I wouldn't recommend divulging sensitive sales figures, especially if you are interviewing with a competitor, however "sales increased by x% due to the strategy I implemented of x months" is spot on. Park Advice: Mention once, with backed up examples. Avoid if there are no clear figures to justify

  1. 'Seasoned'

Now, as a bit of a foodie, this word simply conjures up images of me preparing to tuck in to a medium rare sirloin (or Veg if you're not a meat eater). The real reason this word needs to be removed or steered clear of is that it is often construed as 'much, much older' according to Rita Friedman, a globally renowned carer coach. Park Advice: Avoid

  1. 'Highly qualified'

Using terms like "highly qualified" or "extensive experience" won't make you seem better suited for the job in fact, it could have the opposite effect. Instead, we suggests you focus on the skills, accomplishments, and credentials you bring to the role specifically. Park Advice: Avoid

  1. "Responsible for"

Superfluous words like "responsible for," "oversight of," and "duties included" unnecessarily complicate and hide your experience, says Alyssa Gelbard, founder and president of Résumé Strategists. "Be direct, concise, and use active verbs to describe your accomplishments," she suggests. Instead of writing, "Responsible for training interns ...," simply write, "Train interns ..." Park Advice: Avoid

  1. 'References available by request'

This outdated phrase will unnecessarily show your age. If you progress through the interviewing process, you will be asked for personal and professional references by the nature of the process. Park advice: Avoid

  1. 'Ambitious'

The potential downfall of this word, especially if used more than once, is that it can imply that you're targeting this job now, but will quickly be looking to move up in the company because you won't be satisfied in the role, leaving the employer stuck with doing a new job search in the very near future. Park Advice: Include once if need be but then move on

  1. 'Team Player'

Who doesn't want to be a team player? If you're not a team player, you're probably not going to get the job... But using this term isn't going to make you stand out from other candidates. Park Advice: Avoid as it is too generic. Instead, use an example of how you saved a company time, money, and resources on a team project or in collaboration with others.

  1. 'Microsoft Word'

Yes, you and everyone else. It's assumed that you have a basic proficiency in Microsoft Office. Unless you have expert proficiency, there's no need to include it on your CV. Park Advice: Avoid

  1. 'People person'

This term is a big old cliché and is impossible to prove. HR and recruiters alike have heard these phrases so many times they're likely to feel their eyes glaze over as soon as they see them. Park Advice: Avoid

So there you have it. There are plenty more tips and skills to make you more competitive in the work place so feel free to get in touch to find out more! Email us your CV to and one of our specialists can organise a meeting to run through it.