Don't Use These 10 Words On Your Resume

Show, don't tell. LinkedIn's annual survey of overused words

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By Alison Griswold

Are you responsible? A strategic planner and creative thinker?

So is the rest of the career-seeking world, according to LinkedIn's annual list of the year's most overused resume words. "Responsible" was the worst offender in 2013, followed by "strategic" and "creative."

To compile its fourth annual list, LinkedIn examined the online profiles and resumes of its more than 259 million members. In the two previous years, "creative" led the rankings.

Here is LinkedIn's full list of overused resume words:


  1. Responsible
  2. Strategic
  3. Creative
  4. Effective
  5. Patient
  6. Expert
  7. Organizational
  8. Driven
  9. Innovative
  10. Analytical

Nicole Williams, the official career expert of LinkedIn, says the list is a reminder of how it's always better to show rather than tell when selling yourself on a resume. "Providing concrete examples to demonstrate how you are responsible or strategic is always better than just simply using the words," she explains.

While there's nothing wrong with being responsible, strategic, or creative, the danger in marketing yourself with those terms is that you'll blend in with the job pool.

"If you sound like everyone else, you won't stand out from other professionals vying for opportunities," Williams says. "Differentiate yourself by uniquely describing what you have accomplished in your career and back it up with concrete examples of your work."

Check out an infographic on the data below:

LinkedIn

Filed under: Job Search Tips, Resumes

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