Are resume buzzwords an HR buzz kill?

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This is a guest post by Tabitha Flack. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.

As a recruiter, I can tell you that buzzwords are funnily enough a bit of a buzzword at the moment in the employment sector, and have been for some time.

It is all about throwing back all-important indicators to hiring managers and HR teams showing that you know what you are talking about.

And to an extent I would agree with this argument, but not wholeheartedly:

  • If you are formatting your CV and want to make the “argument of you” compelling to your potential employer and easily navigable for an HR team member, then this is certainly the best way to go about it.
  • If you want to make yourself sound flashy by calling yourself a Ninja, Guru, Superstar, or Demi-God, they probably won't be so interested.

Repeat back to us the key components we are asking for within a job advertisement and we will love you for it!

Because it is important to remember that often these days, your CV needs to make the cut through an HR department before being forwarded on to the appropriate line manager.

If you do not seem to be hitting the right high-notes, in a group of people who might not be as clued up on your occupational area as you obviously are, you might not make the hiring manager's desk. This is, and should be, eye-opening for a lot of job hunters out there.

Just because you know you can do a job does not mean that everyone else under the sun knows this. Think about the lowest common denominator – you need to appeal to that guy.

If you describe yourself as being a Ninja 6 times in 3 sentences, your CV will probably get moved to the side with people left thinking you are a tosser. Unless you’re a salesperson, this tactic is not likely to work, and even then sometimes it can be shaky.

Be confident, but be smart in how you display this. Besides these turns of phrase are so overused at present they will probably be regarded by a glazed expression, and not an attentive eye. (Actually, this can also be said for recruitment agents who ask for ‘gurus’ in their advertisements. Unless you are looking for someone to offer you spiritual guidance, this is not what you are after.)

CV keywords yes, CV buzzwords no.

Buy a dictionary and a thesaurus and broaden your vocabulary.

Happy Job Hunting!

About the Author

tabitha flack Tabitha Flack is an IT Recruitment Specialist from Auckland, New Zealand. After fancying herself as a bit of a wordsmith for quite a while, she eventually took the plunge and started her own recruitment-focused blog back in 2012, and hasn't looked back. She currently works for Madison Recruitment, more information can be found about her through her LinkedIn profile or follow her on Twitter @tabithaflack.

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Jacob Share

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