How can your resume stand out to recruiters with eye-catching buzzwords?
The truth is, hiring managers and recruiters have a stack of resumes on their desks waiting to be reviewed. They don’t have all day to go through all those resumes.
In fact, studies have shown that HR managers scan a resume for less than 10 seconds before deciding if the candidate is a good match. When you have so little time to make a lasting impression on a potential employer, every word counts.
This is why deciding which words to use on your resume can be tricky. Make sure to include the best buzzwords that will help you stand out from other candidates.
To get noticed by recruiters, use the right buzzwords in your resume and avoid words that will bore them and turn them off.
What Are Resume Buzzwords?
In resumes, buzzwords are words commonly used to catch the attention of employers and recruiters. The purpose of buzzwords is to make you pop out to hiring managers who have to comb through dozens of resumes. They aren’t specific for a given job function or industry. They can, instead, describe a variety of skills and accomplishments.
It is always best to choose buzzwords that are directly related to the job you’re applying for. This means you have to find the exact words from the job listing and use them to highlight your relevant skills in your resume. Include these buzzwords in your resume and cover letter to optimize your chances of getting noticed.
Make sure that your language matches the skills or other requirements of the employer, for maximum impact. By doing this, you can showcase what you can offer the employer at a glance, demonstrating your industry expertise in their own words.
The best keywords on your resume aren’t necessarily keywords related to skills and responsibilities, but the actions you’ve mastered during your previous positions. They are called action verbs.
Here are some of the best buzzwords and action verbs to include in your resume according to Forbes:
- Taught /trained/ mentored
- under budget
What Do You Accomplish By Adding Buzzwords To Your Resume?
Using buzzwords correctly can make a significant difference in your ability to get job interviews and, ultimately, land your dream job. The same is true when you overuse or misuse buzzwords, it can hamper your job search.
1. Helps you get past the ATS scan.
Buzzwords are so crucial in your resume – they help you get past the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that many companies use. More than 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies have adopted these systems. As part of the hiring process, ATS assists in analyzing resumes and other tasks.
ATS mine resume data to convert them into easily understandable information for hiring managers. A company can choose keywords, sort and rank job candidates using the ATS. When you use the right buzzwords in your ATS-friendly resume, you can beat the automated algorithms and move closer to the top rankings for resumes.
2. Helps your resume get noticed by hiring managers fast.
Buzzwords are still important to include in your application when applying to companies that do not use ATS systems. They help hiring managers spot the right candidate with the right buzzwords that exactly match the job’s skills and experience.
Relevant keywords, resume buzzwords, and action verbs are all incredibly useful to employers in seeing the value of your career experience. They only have a few minutes to spare so it’s crucial to find a resume and candidate that will stand out from the crowd.
How To Use Buzzwords On Your Resume
Buzzwords and action verbs are good ways of showcasing your skills and experience on a resume, whereas generic, boring descriptions can downplay your achievements.
- When writing your resume, remember not to be modest because it’s a chance for you to show potential employers how valuable you are – and what you can do for them.
- Use action verbs and resume buzzwords to breathe life and depth into your experiences, skills, and achievements. Additionally, they can be used to express your personality or work traits.
- Choose action verbs that better reflect the work you did at your last job instead of weak, vague, or overused verbs.
- Make your resume accomplishments quantifiable to help hiring managers clearly understand what you accomplished in your job role. You can do this by adding numbers whenever you have specific evidence to back up your claims.
- Use strong action verbs for each job accomplishment you list (rather than the job task). You should list each job accomplishment with the following template:
“Action verb + Accomplishment + Details”
“Boosted monthly revenue from $25k to $105k for a sustainable eCommerce brand through innovative email marketing campaigns.”
Communication Skills: List of Resume Action Verbs
Adding personality to the words you use can stir a hiring manager’s interest. In that case, you might have a better chance of getting the person to meet you for an interview.
For instance, it’s not enough to just say that you talked to other people to prove that you achieved your goals. A good action verb to use is “persuaded” since it describes your ability to influence.
You can also add a touch of formality to your actions by using more precise words. When used in place of “wrote” or “spoke,” words like “addressed” and “corresponded” are more powerful.
Don’t Use: talked, presented, organized
Use: addressed, corresponded, persuaded, publicized, reconciled
Try these in phrases:
X –“organized” an off-site meeting
✔ – “orchestrated” an off-site meeting
X – “leading” the meeting
✔ – “chaired” the meeting
Organizational Skills: List of Resume Action Verbs
Describe how you organized a project and completed it. As an example, “executed” means that you saw it through until the end.
Don’t Use: organized, ordered, filed
Use: cataloged, executed, monitored, operated
Consider using something that more accurately describes your purpose:
X – “filed account paperwork”
✔ – “monitored client accounts”
The value of your experience can be diminished if you focus on the task instead of the objective or significance of it to the organization.
Management / Leadership Skills: Resume Action Verbs
It is a plus if you have leadership experience on your resume. It’s much more powerful to say you “established” a team versus just saying you “led” a team. The former indicates you took the initiative to create something new.
Using the word “oversaw” implies that you’re doing high-level supervisory work, but not actively participating in a project.
Don’t Use: led, handled, oversaw
Use: consolidated, appointed, delegated, established
“Established a 5-man productivity team and delegated operational tasks to two junior sales managers generating $73K Monthly Revenue.”
- Choose words that accurately reflect your contribution.
- Avoid repeating action verbs, as this can reduce the word’s impact and make for a boring read for the hiring manager or recruiter.
200+ Resume Buzzwords
The following are some of the best buzzwords you can use to make your resume stand out. We’ve organized them into categories to make it easier for you to browse them.
Replace ACHIEVED with:
Replace ASSISTED with:
Replace COMMUNICATED with:
Replace CREATED with:
Replace DECREASED with:
Replace EXPERIENCED with:
- Old hand
Replace IMPROVED with:
Replace INCREASED with:
Replace LED with:
Replace MANAGED with:
Replace RESEARCHED with:
Replace RESPONSIBLE FOR with:
Replace SKILLED with:
- Highly or Well-trained
Replace UTILIZED with:
Replace WORKED ON with:
Buzzwords to Leave off your Resume
Adding buzzwords to your resume can be beneficial, but you should also omit several of them. Because of the limited space on your resume, you need to select your words carefully.
In the past few years, there have been some words that have become overused adjectives – and common phrases from the past have actually become liability words to use on your resume. These words need to be avoided at all costs if you want to appear relevant.
In order to have the best resume that is powerful, easy to follow, and relevant, it is important to know not only what to include, but also what to leave out.
If you want your resume to stand out and get noticed by hiring managers, avoid these worn-out or overused words and phrases that consistently top the “most annoying buzzwords list”. You may want to avoid using these words in your resume if you want to avoid getting sucked in the resume black hole or ruining your chances of getting hired.
Getting rid of cliched, boring words and phrases shouldn’t be that difficult. They’ve been in use for so long that they’ve lost their meaning and they certainly don’t add much value to your resume. Those are just considered fluff that doesn’t convey the specifics and facts about your accomplishments and abilities.
Boring Words and phrases repel recruiters and hiring managers
It is a good idea to avoid these yawners on any resume, even an entry-level one. You can find literally hundreds of examples of powerful, descriptive action verbs on the internet, so your job description does not have to be boring or weak.
Before you start searching for resume buzzwords, be sure you pay attention to the content of your resume. Don’t use generic or ambiguous titles or descriptions. Listed below are a few words you shouldn’t use in your resume since they are overused and vague, and may do more harm than good:
- Assisted with
- Best of breed
- Best in Class
- Bottom-line oriented
- Creative Thinker
- Cutting edge
- Deep dive
- Driven Professional
- Excellent Communicator
- Experience working in
- Extensive experience
- Go to person
- Hard worker
- Helped with
- Highly Skilled
- Interfaced (when used as a verb)
- Outside the box
- Problem Solver
- Proven Track record
- Quality Driven
- Quick Learner
- Road Warrior
- Responsible for
- Seasoned Professional
- Specialized in
- Strategic Thinker
- Strong Work Ethic
- Track record
- Team player
- Thought leadership
- Worked on
- Works Well With Others
- Works Well Under Pressure
When it comes to your resume, the words you choose can spell the difference between landing a job and being passed over. Using the right buzzwords can make your resume stand out to hiring managers who rarely have time to read through each resume carefully.
The best resume buzzwords can help you stand out from the crowd and move forward in the job search process ultimately land your dream job. You can choose from several resume writing services that can help you craft a more impressive resume.