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article imageBuzzwords that were buzzkill for your resume in 2012

By Joan Firstenberg     Dec 4, 2012 in Business
Mountain View - Resumes that tout an applicant's "creativity", "organizational" or "effective" abilities, won't get you the job. Such industry jargon was so overused in 2012 that it has lost its meaning and is likely to land such documents in the trash.
Buzzwords come and go each year, but put them on your resume and they are likely to kill off your chances of getting the job. Linked-In's list of overused adjectives reveals that this year was a repeat of the words used worldwide in 2011. They showed that the phrase "creative" stayed at the top of the heap for a second year, joined once again by "organizational" and "effective". The few new buzzwords that popped up in 2012 for the first time were "responsible" and "analytical", knocking "dynamic" and "communication skills" off the list. The word "motivated" moved above the 2010 key buzzword of "extensive experience".
For the survey, Linked-in viewed over 187 million of its member profiles worldwide, pinpointing the buzzwords most popular in certain countries during 2012,
Analytical: Switzerland
Creative: Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, U.S.
Effective: India
Experimental: Brazil
Motivated: Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom
Multinational: Egypt, Indonesia
Responsible: France, Italy
Specialized: Spain
As for the most popular buzzwords in the United States in 2012
Most used buzzwords in U.S. in 2012
Most used buzzwords in U.S. in 2012
Ned Smith, a senior writer at BusinessNewsDaily wrote in an article for Fox Business News,
"The tragedy of business buzzwords is that they were fresh and had meaning when they were first coined. But as they become clichés, they lose their power and legitimacy. In some respects, buzzwords are the junk food of language. People are drawn to them like moths to a flame even though they are devoid of nutrition and part this is the notion of being a member of a fraternity."
Link-in's career expert, Nicole Williams has this advice on how to say what you mean, without jargon, but with words that will get you noticed.
"You wouldn’t mention how disorganized or irresponsible you are, and their antonyms (organized, trustworthy, etc) are wasted words too. Why you ask? Because these are the traits that an employer, client or co-worker expects you to have. The expectation by all 85 of the Fortune 100 companies looking for talent on Linked-In is that you can and more importantly will pull it together for the office."
Williams says rather than using buzzwords like creative and effective, use hard data to demonstrate those characteristics by integrating numbers to quantify your effectiveness and reveal the "how" of your experience in specific instances. She adds that if you want synonyms to replace the “analytical,” “motivated,” and “innovative” words, try an online thesaurus, or Linked-In itself, to see what new words are on the rise. You can take your cue from company websites that you're interested in working for, or competing against, by checking out the skills referred to on profiles of their top executives.
More about Jargon, business buzzwords, Resumes
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