Resume buzzwords are a controversial topic. In some cases, they can give your resume the boost it needs to get noticed. However, in other cases, they can come across as cliché or meaningless.
To ensure that you avoid leaving a bad first impression with employers and instead make your resume stand out (in a good way), we’ve included some of the top 100 buzzwords to include in your resume in 2022.
Additionally, we break down exactly what resume buzzwords are and how to use them properly.
What are resume buzzwords?
Resume buzzwords are words for your resume that are used to get the attention of employers. Generally, buzzwords are similar to action verbs and help describe the work experience on your resume in terms of what you accomplished rather than what you were passively responsible for.
Used well, resume buzzwords help highlight specific hard or soft skills that hiring managers are looking for.
However, resume buzzwords aren’t always a positive addition to your application. There are many common buzzwords that make your application less appealing because they’re overused and don’t communicate anything of substance.
For example, cliché buzzwords like “team player,” “go-getter,” or “results-driven” are likely to make hiring managers roll their eyes and should be avoided.
10 overused resume buzzwords (and 100+ good alternatives)
To ensure that you write a great resume, we’ve compiled a list of 10 overused or generic resume buzzwords and provided some useful alternatives you can use on your resume. Let’s dive in.
Leadership skills are important to employers, especially when you’re filling a managerial position. But simply stating that you’re a “natural leader” or a “manager” isn’t enough. You’ll need to show it with your past experience on your resume.
Instead, convey that you possess leadership skills using the following 14 good resume buzzwords:
Being experienced is never bad, but listing it on your resume can be. “Experienced” is a common phrase, and there are additional, more engaging buzzwords that convey the same meaning that hiring managers would rather read.
Here are ten resume buzzwords that are better than “experienced”:
Being an expert means being highly qualified in your particular craft, skillset, or industry. If this describes you, then that’s great. Unfortunately, hiring managers see the word “expert” on resumes all the time.
Instead, use one of the following 11 positive buzzwords for your resume to convey to the hiring manager that you’re an expert in your field:
Whether you should use the word “motivated” on your resume or not will depend on your circumstances. If you’re still in school and preparing an internship resume, a recent college graduate, or otherwise lacking experience and just starting your career, it’s perfectly fine to use.
However, there are better buzzwords that can give your resume a boost and show the hiring manager that you’re dedicated to your work and ready to start contributing to their company.
Here are 10 resume buzzwords to use as an alternative for “motivated”:
Let’s switch being “creative” for one of the following eight effective buzzwords for your resume:
Are you good at your job? How about being excellent or great at your job?
It’s fantastic that you’re committed to your work, but buzzwords like “excellent,” “good,” and “great” appear on countless resumes.
Instead, use these 10 less common resume buzzwords when describing your past work experience:
But hiring managers in these fields see the word “strategic” pop up constantly.
Instead of using this cliché buzzword, you’ll grab their attention quicker if you use any of the following 10 good resume buzzwords:
No matter what your profession is, staying focused is a valuable attribute.
However, just saying that you’re “focused” on your resume sounds generic.
Instead, use any of the following nine resume buzzwords:
Hiring managers love candidates who can think innovatively and develop unique ideas. However, just saying that your work is “unique” sounds generic (and a bit too much like you just finished a middle school art project).
Instead, show hiring managers that your work stands out by using some of the following buzzwords for your resume:
You should display your specific skillset throughout your resume, but it’s better not to describe yourself as “skilled” because this sounds nonspecific.
How to use buzzwords in your resume
Now that you’ve seen some of the best buzzwords to include in your resume, here’s how to properly put them to use:
Here’s an example of two work experience bullet points, one using good resume keywords and the other using cliché, overused resume buzzwords:
Skilled product manager with leadership experience managing a team of 10 people
Adept and resourceful product manager with experience directing a team of 10 professionals to produce award-winning gaming mouses
Not only is the second bullet point more enjoyable to read, but it’s also more informative and provides the hiring manager a better idea of what kind of leadership experience you have.