I just returned from a regional search marketing/social networking seminar. Totally a place where I expected to hear a whole bunch of 2010 buzz words and cutting edge biz nomenclature. Words that, when uttered, I'd nod like I knew what they meant, madly scrawl them in my notes, then go home and Google them to figure out what they hell they even mean.
But it just wasn't the case.
In fact, I heard more overused cliches in five hours than I typically see printed in a 10-inch stack of resumes. In one presentation alone, the speaker said "niche" eight times. It did me in. I actually had to walk out of the conference (for good) after lunch to spare myself further cliche agony.
Which brings me to the topic of resumes.
It's the same thing: If you torture your audience (a.k.a. recruiters and hiring managers) with overused terms and blather? They're going to walk out after lunch. Or before lunch. Or before they get through the first page.
Don't know the biggest offenders? Start with some of my faves, then google the term "overused business words" for many, many more:
- Niche (It's like saying "niece" with gunk in your mouth. Yuck)
- Win-win (What, are you going to put your "lose-lose" experience on a resume?)
- Paradigm (Hey, buddy? Can you spare me a paradigm?)
- Reach out (OMG, please just "talk" or "call" or "email" instead. Please.)
- Synergy (Quite possibly the worst offender of them all)
- Team player (Make sure and mention you put the "t" in "team player" when using this one)
- Value-add (Add even more value by finding some original phrases)
- Outside of the box (Honestly? Just shoot me. Put me out of my misery, right now. Do it.)
- Best of breed (You applying for a job with the American Kennel Club? Humane Society?)
A small sampling, but a large point:
Fresh terms = Fresh resume
Cliches = Torture