10 Worst Resume Words Ever Written That You Must Avoid

By | February 5, 2016

Among resume words, there are winners and there are losers. Winners will help you impress employers and get the interviews you need to get the job. Losers will have the HR department cringing and shredding your application at the first available opportunity.


Ten of the biggest losers-the worst resume words ever written-are listed here:

  1. Deliverables
  2. Facilitate
  3. Functionalities
  4. Goal-Oriented
  5. Holistic
  6. Incentivize
  7. Leveraged
  8. Monetize
  9. Strategize
  10. Paradigms

These losers make the “worst ever” listing because they have imprecise meanings or throw up red flags as buzzwords and empty phrases. Unfortunately, they remain enduringly popular with writers despite their unpopularity with readers. How can you avoid them?


You can avoid these loser phrases by taking advantage of the resources and strategies available to you as a job seeker. You will want to research more appropriate resume words. You will find example phrases divided by industry. You will also find examples of sentences to use to ensure loser phrasing doesn’t creep back into your speech and writing.

Finally, evaluate every aspect of your personal presentation. Are your sentences clear, with measurable accomplishments plainly expressed? Can you quickly scan the document and pull out relevant information? Read your resume the next day after you are done writing. Often by stepping away from our writing and coming back to review after a night’s sleep, we have a fresh perspective and can spot errors and poor use of language. Make the changes you need to your resume words, and you will be ready to face employers with powerful, impressive language to get your next job.

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