Sunday, December 30, 2012

Resumes and Profile Buzz Words

An article widely circulated on LinkedIn had a list of common Buzz Words that the author believes should be deleted from resumes and other experience summaries.

Here's my thoughts on them.

Creative, Innovative, Analytical, Responsible, Effective - Ummm. You'd better be. Why are you mentioning it? If these adjectives are attached to a particular thing you did - "designed a creative solution to the issue of thingwhatchies", "implemented an effective program that increased thingwhatchie return by 15% ROI" - then it might be okay. Talk about what you have done, not your personality. And be prepared, if a recruiter asks, to say what made your solution "creative", and so on.

Motivated - Ummm. Boilerplate, and bad boilerplate. "I am a motivated individual"... blah.

Organizational - This is an adjective. If the relevant skills or experience you are listing is "of or having to do with the organization", then it may be a good word. On the other hand, if you are talking about your ability to organize, then that's not the right word anyway.

Extensive Experience, Track Record - These are boilerplate (a cliche) when you are introducing a particular type of experience. Extensive experience in what? Track record of what? I don't know why a recruiter would object to the terms themselves, as long as what followed described a skill or type of experience that helped the recruiter know what your capabilities were.

Problem Solving - similar in character to "Extensive Experience" and "Track Record", but too general. Everyone solves problems. What exact things have you done that mattered? "Implemented improvements that resulted in annual cost savings greater than my salary", "Reduced machine down-time by 1.1% on a monthly basis by adjusting the schedule of maintenance and upgrades".

Here's another list of "Power Words" to use, but many of them have the exact same problems listed above. Use at your own risk.

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