Ten over-used CV buzzwords that drive Hiring Managers nuts!

Ten over-used CV buzzwords that drive Hiring Managers nuts!

That's right. Your CV can meet all the requirements and still end up in the "no" pile if it includes certain over-used buzzwords that drive Hiring Managers nuts! We asked Hiring Managers across Ireland, what over-used words in a CV drive them nuts, with interesting results below: 



Being highly motivated is fantastic. However, achievements speak louder than empty terms like "go-getter". Instead, show managers what you are capable of by outlining your achievements using action verbs, such as "achieved", "improved", "launched" or "negotiated". 


Unfortunately, there is no phrase more "in the box" today than this one. Banish it from your CV and explain the creative solutions you've developed in previous roles and their outcomes. A creative solution means nothing unless it leads to positive results! 


Loosely summing up the phrase, "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," the word "synergy" has been over-used in the business world to the point that it lacks meaning. Leave it off your CV; instead, demonstrate your collaborative accomplishments in clear language. 


This term doesn't tell the hiring manager anything specific. You need to share what happened when other depended on you. Try "resolved," "spearheaded," or "mentored" as strong verbs to state your case. 


By using this term, you run the risk of coming across as pretentious. Instead, explain the leadership positions you've had, revealing how you influenced others or why others counted on your advice.


Instead of this not-too-golden oldie, share specifics about the value you've brought to your previous roles and companies. Use statistics and figures whenever possible. 


Lose the ambiguity. Your resume should be clear and concise. Describe the results you have achieved and how you outperform the average. If you are applying for a sales position, share how often you met sales quotas - or if you exceeded them, by how much??


Everyone loves a team player but try and replace this empty phrase with relevant stories of your collaborations on the job. Be specific about the teams you have been a member of, how you contributed to those teams and the results of those teams' efforts. Using the term "team player" can draw focus away from your impact and team achievements.   


Use stronger terms such as "won", "increased", or "decreased" supplying all necessary details to state your case clearly. If you are displaying your ability to improve a company's financial status, use the correct terms. There is no line item on a profit & loss statement called "bottom line". However, "profitability" and "revenue" are hard facts that get your resume the attention you want.


This over-used dog show reference should stay with the dogs. If you are great at what you do, demonstrate that with your proven track record.

So there you have it. The 10 most over-used buzzwords that drive internal hiring teams and managers nuts!! But we won't let you go empty handed...

Here are a few more "power" words to add to your resume arsenal:

  • Accomplished
  • Designed
  • Initiated 
  • Completed 
  • Won
  • Supervised 
  • Analyzed 
  • Advocated 
  • Built 
  • Changed
  • Coordinated 
  • Developed
  • Established 

You're all set! Next steps??... LET YOUR NEXT JOB FIND YOU! Simply register your rockstar CV with us and/or create JOB ALERTS tailored to your specific preferences. Sit back, and let us do the hard work on your behalf. 

Andrew Sheehan

Marketing Manager | RECRUITERS

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