Resume & Cover Letter

How To Incorporate Buzzwords Into Your Resume

By: Emily Totura
Dec 19, 2020 • 6 min read

How To Incorporate Buzzwords Into Your Resume

Wait, what’s a buzzword? If you’re unsure as to what buzzwords are or how exactly to use them in your resume, you’ve come to the right place! More often than not, you’ll need to change up your resume when applying to different jobs. This is because certain roles call for specific skills, qualities, and responsibilities, so you want these to be highlighted on your resume to show recruiters that you’re a good fit for the job. Buzzwords help you do just that! Most resumes go through computer systems like applicant tracking systems (ATS) or talent management systems that search for these buzzwords. These are words that are either well-known and important in the industry, important to the role itself, or discussed on the job posting. In this article, we’ll give you our best tips on incorporating buzzwords into your next resume. Let’s dive in and see what all the buzz is about!

What Type of Buzzwords Should You Use?

It can vary from each job, but you should always make sure that your resume has words relevant to the requirements of the jobs. Think of it this way, if a manager were to skim your resume, you want these words to stand out in your resume. Focus on action words like “achieved” or “managed” and adjectives like. “The importance in using action words is that it’s a lot easier to show on your resume what you accomplished, rather than saying something like, “made a weekly schedule for employees”—this doesn’t sound too impressive. Each buzzword on your resume should give employers insight as to what you accomplished at your previous jobs. If it seems challenging at first, don’t stress. Look up some examples online and have other people look at your resume for feedback. It just takes a little bit of practice to get the hang of it.

How to Find Buzzwords

As with most job preparation, you should start by looking at the job posting itself. Most organizations will list, in detail, the qualities and requirements that they want from their applicants. Sometimes it might be tricky to discern what to look for in these postings, so look for words like “responsibilities, requirements, and qualifications.” A good rule of thumb is if it’s heavily emphasized or looks important to you, it’s probably something you want to add to your resume.

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

Explore The Company Website

After looking at the job posting, don’t stop there! If they have a company website, check it out. Most of these sites will have pages detailing certain qualities and requirements they are looking for when hiring. This can be under pages like “About Us” or “Apply Here.” For example, if a company places importance on collaboration, use words like this to demonstrate how you work well with others in a job setting based on previous work experience. Keep in mind, this changes from place to place. So, each time you apply for a job, look at their webpage.

 Research Social Media Platforms 

If you still feel like you need more buzzwords, it’s time to get creative! Does the company have a LinkedIn or any other social media accounts? Are there any reviews on the organization from current or past employees? You can also reach out to employees on LinkedIn or other networking sites to learn about their daily responsibilities to help you narrow in on what keywords are most relevant for the job.

buzzwords into your resume

Don’t Force It 

The computer systems will see your resume before any human, and they aren’t perfect. Rather than using the same word over and over again, change it up and use some synonyms. This will increase your likelihood of getting your resume to the next step of the hiring process. However, don’t lie or force it. Companies want diversity, so if there is a difficult buzzword for you to incorporate, don’t dwell on it. Focus on other keywords. Remember, employers want to know who you really are, so putting false information on a resume won’t turn out too well. You will have plenty of time during your interview to show them why you are the best applicant.

Great Key Words to Include On Your Resume 

These are great buzzwords to include in your resume because they aren’t as common. Once an actual human is reading your resume, these words will help you to stand out. It also shows them that you took the time to prepare and learn about their company. (This will score you major bonus points!)

  •       Collaborated with
  •       Delivered
  •       Designed
  •       Directed
  •       Improved
  •       Increased
  •       Increased/ decreased
  •       Initiated/ launched
  •       Managed
  •       Motivated
  •       Negotiated
  •       Operated
  •       Publicized
  •       Produced
  •       Refined
  •       Trained/ mentored
  •       Undertook

buzzwords into your resume

Buzzwords You Should Avoid 

Some of these words and phrases are not necessarily bad, but they are typically overused. They also don’t give you the ability to set you up for an effective bullet point under your experience. Why? Because they don’t allow you to focus on what you accomplished during this experience and how it contributed to your success. For example, saying, “Expert in sales” is not as effective as saying, “Increased annual sales 30% by incorporating a new marketing campaign entailing XYZ.” Buzzwords are important for computer algorithms, but they should also help you to elaborate on your successes.

  •       Accomplished
  •       Created
  •       Detail-oriented
  •       Expert in
  •       In charge of
  •       Innovative
  •       Responsible for
  •       Results-driven
  •       Results-driven
  •       Specialized in
  •       Strategic
  •       Synergetic  
  •       Team-player

Getting your resume through a tracking system is challenging. Before submitting, check to see what format they want your resume to be in. If not directly stated, Word Documents are usually the safest option, compared to PDF files.

shallow focus photo of woman using MacBook

Practice Makes Perfect 

Buzzwords can be hard to find, and they can be even trickier sometimes to include in your resume. With practice, it will get a lot easier. Talk to industry experts, research the company and job to the best of your ability, and go slow—don’t try to change up your entire resume in one sitting. After you feel confident in your revisions, have a career center or coworker that you trust go over it. Get their feedback, and revise again. Soon enough, you’ll be a pro at finding and incorporating buzzwords into your resume!

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How To Accomplish a Task You Dislike 

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Incorporating Innovation 

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