These buzzwords were shared by hiring mangers and career coaches to avoid in resumes:


Honorable Mention (mentioned once)


  • Highly Skilled
  • Go-Getter

“What did you get? Coffee? Lunch? Please stop using this phrase.” Lauren Young – Owner, Freshly Baked Communications

  • Successfully
  • Championed
  • Passion
  • Utilized

“It’s ‘utilized’ in resumes to make a three-syllable word out of the word ‘use’. I USE it to distinguish the blowhards who like to sound smart from the good communicators.” Dan Ryan – Consultant for Praxis Nonprofit Strategies


Buzzwords Mentioned Twice


  • Hardworking
  • Thrice Repeated

    • Highly Motivated
    • Punctual/Reliable
    • Seasoned

    “Sounds like a candidate who’s been cooked – stringing along a list of adjectives without backup to support…loyal, hard-working, focused, etc. They mean nothing without examples.” Roy Cohen, career coach and author, The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide


    Buzzwords Condemned Four Times


    • Detail-Oriented
    • Multi-Tasker

    My dog can multitask…seriously.


    Cursed Five Times


    • Quick Learner
    • Self Starter
    • Innovative/Cutting Edge

    “If you think you did something truly innovative, tell me what you did. I’m smart enough to know if it’s (a) groundbreaking and (b) relevant to my needs.” Joel Bilheimer, Executive Vice President of Pershing Tech


    Runners Up – Blackballed Six Times


    • Responsible For

    “All it says is that you were responsible for something, it doesn’t say that you actually did it. Recruiters and hiring managers want to see action, results and accomplishments. The days of putting fluff on your resume are gone.” Patricia Ellis – OnTargetCareerCoaching.com

    • Goal/Mission Oriented
    • Excellent Interpersonal/Communication Skills

    “Too generic. Which specific communication skills are essential to job at hand? Do you deliver persuasive written communications? Are you an engaging presenter? Do you consistently close the sale? Tell us!” Larry Braman – President, Global Career Consulting and Placement


    The Grand Prize Winner


    • Team Player

    “Everyone says this, so it doesn’t mean anything unless you can demonstrate it in your experience.  Maybe you were forced into a team, maybe you led a team. I have no way to tell the difference.” R. Bobby Umar, P.Eng, MBA – President, Raeallan