Using Buzzwords on Your Resume

When it comes to interviewing new talent, hiring managers are looking for clear, concise, authentic resumes that having meaning and purpose. But in job markets where there are hundreds of applicants applying for each position, it takes something special to catch a hiring manager’s attention. This article will discuss buzzwords, including how and why to include them on your resume.

What are resume buzzwords?

Resume buzzwords are words that describe job applicant qualities to match the requirements for the job position. For instance, if someone was applying for a medical position, they might write, ‘Mentored medical assistants and launched a training program for summer intern group.’

The first part of this sentence tells the hiring manager that the person is a team player. They show initiative and that they will actively support others in their workplace who might need assistance or help on the job. The second part of this sentence shows initiative and drive. This person saw a need that wasn’t being met and decided to take initiative to see that it was filled. Both of these qualities are ideal for medically-based careers and show employers in very tangible ways that a job applicant can fit well in their workplace.

To make sure you land your dream job, you need to choose these words carefully and intentionally. Make sure your buzzwords match up with the job qualifications and the duties that will be required within the role. Remember, these words are meant to show the hiring manager that you are a better fit for the position than other candidates in their immense pile of applications.

Benefits of using buzzwords on your resume

Try using buzzwords as the best way to show hiring managers you’re the best fit for the role. Hiring managers want to see that you have the skills to succeed in the role long before you even enter an interview because it’s their job to ensure great candidates come through the door. Buzzwords can make or break the impact of your resume when a hiring manager is holding it against a pile of other applications.

For instance, instead of saying you’re passionate about creating an inclusive workspace, write on your resume that you developed and managed a diversity and inclusion group at the previous company you worked for. Instead of saying you are a team player, write that you launched an initiative at your last job which brought team members together each month to build community.

What’s the difference between keywords and buzzwords?

While subtle, there is a difference between the role keywords versus buzzwords play on your resume. Buzzwords are specific to characteristics job candidates should have, whereas keywords are more industry-specific. Keywords can include words related to specialized skills, education or experiences that you have for the role. Buzzwords, on the other hand, show what character qualities you will bring to the position.

Establishing a tone that allows the reader to feel like they know you could launch your new career. The beauty of buzzwords is that if you use the right ones, you’ll have the attention of your reader. These buzzwords could point to leadership skills, creativity, innovation or having initiative. You should be mindful of which you use, however, so that these words don’t give a negative impression to the hiring manager.

Best buzzwords to use on your resume

Try these buzzwords to show a hiring manager that you are the candidate they’ve been looking for:

  • Achieved
  • Delivered
  • Managed
  • Created
  • Launched
  • Trained
  • Mentored
  • Improved
  • Launched
  • Published
  • Increased/Decreased
  • Influenced

Since buzzwords are not industry-specific, you should be able to match similar words to resumes being submitted for jobs in various industries. Remember that these words are meant to show intentionality and innovation in a way that draws the reader in.

Buzzwords you should avoid using on your resume

Try to keep these words off your resume to help you move on to the next hiring round:

  • Go-getter
  • Motivated
  • Think outside of the box
  • Synergy
  • Go-to person
  • Results-driven
  • Leadership
  • Team player
  • Passionate
  • Hard worker
  • Detail-oriented
  • Experienced

Buzzwords you should avoid are the words that have been overused and feel forced and worn out. When you read many of these words, you will probably be able to understand why they aren’t favorites of hiring managers.

With a limited amount of time to determine who should be moved forward in the interview process, hiring managers can sometimes rely on buzzwords to help them gauge the authenticity of an applicant. Unfortunately for some applicants, they may disqualify themselves without even knowing that it came down to the negative effect of a phrase they used on their resume.

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