Talent Development Centre

These Buzz Words Need to Stop Appearing in Resumes

Recruiters are Tired of Seeing These Common Terms and Phrases

The Buzz Words Eagle Recruiters Say Need to Stop Appearing in ResumesA few months ago, Frances McCart wrote a post explaining how you may be hurting yourself by using too many buzzwords in your resume or in interviews. She argues that in the same way somebody’s credibility in the office may diminish when they over-use jargon, your resume could lose attention if it’s packed with buzzwords that recruiters see every day. The obvious question that comes next, then, is what are those buzzwords?

To help answer the question, we went out to Eagle’s recruitment team and asked them to list the buzzwords that they’re sick of seeing in IT contractor resumes. While some people said they really don’t mind buzzwords, others noted that they hate these words and phrases:

  • Energetic Self-Starter
  • Guru
  • Results-Oriented
  • Collaborated with SMEs
  • Works Well Under Pressure
  • Team Player
  • Synergy
  • “I can do anything”
  • Dynamic
  • High Performer
  • Well-Seasoned

An interesting observation is that all of these buzzwords, similar to any other clich├ęs you hear in an office, are very vague and generic. Instead, recruiters like quantifiable examples that allow them to truly understand your experience.

Although these results are based on an internal Eagle survey, we’re going to go out on a limb and assume that recruiters from other recruitment agencies will all agree with the above. With that in mind, then, which buzzwords and phrases are you sick of hearing from recruiters?

5 thoughts on “These Buzz Words Need to Stop Appearing in Resumes

  1. I’m sick of them not telling enough about the potential contract so I waste my time responding to things that are not a fit.

    For example, unless I have a car and am prepared to drive to work, the actual physical location is important. The potential rate is very important. I know you want to be able to negotiate but you should have a pretty good idea on what the range is and what your take is. I don’t want you to lose money but you should be just as concerned about that happening to me. At least, if you want to keep me in the same contract for a while and have me recommend you to my friends.

    Some groups think they can keep the rate being charged to the client secret so I don’t know how much they are taking. If I can’t get the client, who has no loyalty to you, to tell me the rate within a week or two, I’m not doing a very good job of building a relationship with them. That just makes you seem slimy.

    Being honest and up front is good.


  2. All of these pithy cliches would certainly be unchallenged on BOTH resumes of HC and DT – the US contenders for the hot job at the Whitehouse. Don’t you agree??
    I have personally observed and encountered that often the process of resume writing, resume screening and most of all the interview process has inherent flaws and seemingly mechanical. The best resumes are creative and written with honesty and reflect both the person and their qualifications to the prospective company seeking to hire them. Fluff and flowery prose do not impress. However many who take on the ardous task of writing a resume dont have the confidence or ability and so resort to the wisdom of books of which there are thousands and so you fall into the trap of cutting yourself to fit what you are told people want to see or read on the page. Compare a North American styles resume to a British styled CV (resume) and you are not likely to see the prolific use of the above catch phrases. Also there is a lot more emphasis on academic accomplishments here and less on the important “soft skills” that make or break you in the job. The comfort zone of IT personnel is the technical savvy. Only a handful have diplomacy, negotiating skills, and most important super slick communication abilities. Its ironic though that the resume is the tool of choice for prospective employers to know you exist. It happens on TV but It’s rare indeed that you have a chance encounter at the hockey game where you meet someone who owns an IT company, make an impression and voila you have the corner office running IT support. Just my 2 cents comment

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