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Overused Words in Job Descriptions

Posted by Bob Corlett on December 15, 2010

Be very careful what you ask for, or you just may get it.  A few years ago, I wrote a post "Bad Job Ads Attract only Desperate Candidates" and I pointed out some really common (boring) words in job descriptions that are not only useless, they are the kind of words that suck all the oxygen out of the room when you use them.  Candidates don't know precisely what you mean when you use them - so they actually detract from your message, and reduce your ability to attract top performers. Even some top executive search firms are guilty of using these phrases in their position overviews. 

Now I find that our friends at LinkedIn have done the same thing...but with the most overused words in resumes.   (Their list is below)  Note how closely the lists match up! Apparently candidates have learned to play back all those meaningless job description words in their resumes.   Hilarious.

LinkedIn's most overused resume words:

  • Innovative
  • Dynamic
  • Motivated
  • Extensive Experience
  • Results Oriented
  • Proven Track Record
  • Team Player
  • Fast Paced
  • Problem Solver
  • Entrepreneurial

My two year old list of overused job description words:

So, if you use dull words in your job descriptions, I suppose you have no right to complain about all those dull resumes you receive....right?

Topics: Writing Job Descriptions, Executive Search, Job Advertising