Are You Innovative? Motivated? Tell How


In one of my first posts on this IT careers blog, I wrote about the word "passion" cropping up on resumes. Basically, it's among the words that don't tell employers anything.


There's more. The LinkedIn Blog lists the 10 most overused buzzwords in profiles on the site:


  1. Extensive experience
  2. Innovative
  3. Motivated
  4. Results-oriented
  5. Dynamic
  6. Proven track record
  7. Team player
  8. Fast-paced
  9. Problem solver
  10. Entrepreneurial


Actually, that's the list from the United States. On a jiffy graphic on the site, you can see that the word "dynamic" was most popular in India, Brazil and Spain. And my favorite comment on the post?

... if I hear one more person use the word 'transparency' this year, someone is going down!

LinkedIn spokeswoman Lindsey Pollack wrote:

Phrases like 'extensive experience' and 'proven track record' can appear empty to a potential employer and may do more harm than good when you include them in your profile or resume. If you're using any of these 10 terms, wipe them out. Instead, note that you have eight to 10 years of experience or that you increased sales by 300 percent. Include meaningful phrases that apply specifically to highlights you've achieved in your career.

In other words, be specific about your accomplishments and phrase them in terms of value you brought to the business.


I know that it can be tough for some of you in IT to put your value to the company in numbers. That's why I'm putting out a call to resume specialists and hiring managers to help. I'm looking for examples of wording on a resume to cite the achievements of IT folks in hard-to-quantify jobs. What do you say if you can't say you "increased sales by 300 percent"? Please reply in the comments below.