Are you a talented, creative, highly motivated individual with strong communication skills?

You and everyone else!

We get so caught up with the buzz surrounding buzzwords, we forget what they mean. Would you introduce yourself to someone as an “extremely innovative forward thinker” in person? No! Companies and candidates spend so much time trying to look good paper, they forget about basic conversational skills.

LinkedIn recently released a list of the Most Overused Buzzwords, including:

  • Motivated (shouldn’t that be a given?)
  • Communication Skills (doesn’t everyone have those, and if you don’t, is anyone going to admit it?)
  • Organized (no one is going to confess they’re a slob)
  • Responsible/Professional (what company is going to say “Sorry, irresponsible applicants only”??)

Topping the overused buzzwords list for professionals in the United States is “creative.”

The thing is, people can tell when you’re being a phony in an interview or on paper. Candidates who name drop or use hot-button words during their interview (“around the corner thinking” with a “thirty thousand foot view”) don’t come off as genuine. They come off as silly.

The same thing goes for the way you look on paper. Enough with the jargon! Some of the most overused buzzwords can cause someone to toss your resume aside for someone who doesn’t sound so cliché. Companies who describe the position they’re trying to fill using flowery, show-offy language and ridiculous catch phrases run the risk of not being taken seriously too.

Let’s take a step back from the buzzwords and re-focus on being genuine. It can drive more sincere relationships and allow people to truly understand your capabilities.

Or, if you DO insist on using buzzwords, at least be able to back them up with real-world, personal examples and anecdotes that show your true colors.

In my next post I’ll provide real-world application on how to have a powerful but not overly fluffy resume and job description.