The 10 Absolute Worst Buzzwords to Put on a Resume

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Are you a responsible, innovative expert who’s driven but patient? You and everybody else. Social networking site LinkedIn revealed the 10 most overused buzzwords of 2013 by its 259 million members. If you’re trying to stand out on the website, or on a resume, these are the words to avoid:

  1. Responsible

  2. Strategic

  3. Creative

  4. Effective

  5. Patient

  6. Expert

  7. Organizational

  8. Driven

  9. Innovative

  10. Analytical

This is the fourth year the company has revealed the most-used words. “Innovative” is the worst offender, making the list all four years. “Organizational,” “analytical,” and “effective” are also regular inclusions that are unlikely to catch an employer’s attention.

LinkedIn has some recommendations on how to craft a more engaging profile. If the opposite of your descriptive word is obviously negative (i.e. ineffective, impatient), bosses probably assume you have this skill already. Specificity also helps in a resume or LinkedIn profile—if you describe your accomplishments in detail, these more generic attributes will be self-evident. Gathering endorsements and recommendations for your profile can also help show that other people believe these words describe you accurately.

At the very least, bust out the thesaurus if you’re desperate. That should provide a few creative alternatives to the word “creative.”