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You’ve seen your friend scribble down the word “strategic” on his job application paper. You think it looks outstanding so you went ahead and copied it as one of your key qualifications. You submitted your resume to one of your employers and before you know it, you are heading home, still jobless. What could you have done wrong?

No, there’s nothing wrong with you. You could have just picked out the wrong buzzword or have used the most overused key phrase. In your hopeless attempt to conquer the tough competition, you probably had focused more on what others can do and not on what you can do differently.

Concentrate on defining your expertise and forget about words that only sound good to the ear. To make sure you don’t get into the habit of duplicating timeworn terms for your paper again, make sure you watch out for the most passé words in a job application. Here is professional networking site LinkedIn’s list of top 5 most overused resume words for 2013.

1. Responsible

How many times have you used the word “responsible” in your application? Did you mean it or did you just write it for the sake of having a way to start all your bullets?

While the word may have been used a million times by a million people from across the planet, that doesn’t mean you should do just the same. In fact, you could do better. Instead of saying “responsible for publishing three magazine articles weekly, you can simply say “published three magazine articles on a weekly basis.” See the difference?

2. Strategic

How can you describe a strategic employee? How can you defend that you are a strategic worker? Yes the word may sound striking but it doesn’t really explain how effective you are as a worker. Use a word that demonstrates quantifiable results. You may say “increased company revenue by 10 percent within 3 months.” That sounds more impressive.

3. Creative

It is easy to say that you are creative. But is it enough that you say you are?Let your creativity work for your advantage. It is important to know your audience in conveying your message.

4. Expert

Every applicant would claim that he/she is good in doing something. Even you can be an expert in anything but please, not in using this word. It does not only limit your vocabulary, but also your career options.

5. Analytical

Analytical does not sound good in your resume unless you’re applying as a Mathematics instructor.

Instead of recurrently using the same terms, LinkedIn suggests replacing cliché-riddenwords with:

· Fulfilled

· Increased

· Implemented

· Streamlined

· Attained

· Attracted

· Budgeted

With these buzzwords, resume writing is one less thing to worry about.

Nelson Mullins is a former corporate hiring and recruitment expert who regularly writes articles on resumes, resume writing, personality development, and career in general. He is a father of three who also enjoys photography and biking. Nelson believes that while the employment world continues to be a rat race for applicants, it is important to always be equipped with new ideas on sustaining career growth and opportunities.

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