BlogResume WritingTop 99+ Resume Buzzwords to Use in 2024 [& Clichés to Avoid]

Top 99+ Resume Buzzwords to Use in 2024 [& Clichés to Avoid]

resume buzzwords

Resume buzzwords are an essential part of resume writing—a balancing act where you’re constantly juggling various details while trying to make a compelling case about what makes you the best person for the job.

To make all the information about your skills and experiences stand out, you want to leverage these buzzwords and, well, generate buzz with your document.

In this article, we’ll explore the complexities of resume buzzwords, explain why it’s important to use them, and show you what some of the best ones are. Additionally, you’ll find out how not to fall into the trap of sounding cliché. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • The purpose of buzzwords is multifold: they can help your resume pass the screening process, highlight your knowledge, expertise, and experience, and more.

  • Resume buzzwords should make your CV memorable, so they differ from resume clichés, which should be avoided.

  • Specific resume buzzwords can emphasize a broad array of skills, from leadership to communication and language proficiency.

  • These buzzwords can be included in different sections of your resume, such as education and professional experience.

  • Choosing the resume buzzwords according to the job you’re applying for is important because it helps you accentuate the specific skills the hiring company is looking for.

What Are Resume Buzzwords?

Resume buzzwords are strategic terms and phrases you can use to significantly increase the impact your writing has on recruiters and hiring managers. They are designed to capture the reader’s attention and make your resume more memorable.

Buzzwords can take many shapes in your resume. They can help you pass the ATS scan as keywords, take the form of action verbs to emphasize your accomplishments, help you highlight industry knowledge through specific terminology, and more.

By using them, you’re transforming your resume into a personal marketing tool. That way, it will optimally convey all the relevant information about skills and qualifications while simultaneously leaving a lasting good impression on recruiters.

Resume Buzzwords vs. Resume Clichés

There is a significant difference between resume buzzwords and clichés. While the former improves your writing and makes it more impressive, the latter has the opposite effect.

Resume clichés are overused terms that recruiters are tired of, and incorporating them into your document can be detrimental to your success.

Some of the most notable examples of resume clichés include:

Examples of Resume Clichés

  • Hard worker

  • Team player

  • People person

  • Problem solver

  • Quick learner

  • Go-getter

All of these are bland statements, and you’re better off providing specific examples of your actions than merely stating that you’re a “hard worker.”

Why is It Important to Use Resume Buzzwords?

Resume buzzwords help you stand out in the crowd of other candidates. However, their benefits extend beyond their attention-grabbing aspect.

Some of the key reasons why you should use resume buzzwords are because they:

Key Reasons To Use Resume Buzzwords

  • Act as keywords. Using the buzzwords relevant to the job that you’re applying for can help you pass the ATS scan since they act as keywords for the software.

  • Emphasize accomplishments. Action verbs are powerful terms that help point out your results and efforts in a compelling manner.

  • Highlight expertise. Having industry-specific resume buzzwords signals that you’re an adept professional who knows what they are talking about.

  • Showcase skills. Using the right buzzwords can help you demonstrate your skills and accomplishments.

99+ Top-Notch Resume Buzzwords to Use

cv references

To avoid sounding cliché, you need to know exactly what resume buzzwords to use. Additionally, you don’t want them to sound vague but be a reinforcement of your experience and expertise.

Lastly, but most importantly, the right buzzwords will help your resume pass the screening portion of the hiring process.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the top-notch resume buzzwords you could use.

#1. Leadership

If you’re aiming for a C-suite position, your self-presentation could use some resume buzzwords for leadership skills.

These are mostly action verbs and will help you come across as leadership material in your interview, so make sure to include some of the following ones in your resume:

Resume Buzzwords For Leadership Skills

  1. Pioneered

  2. Spearheaded

  3. Piloted

  4. Ignited

  5. Revitalized

  6. Transformed

  7. Optimized

  8. Rejuvenated

  9. Cut costs

  10. Budgeted

  11. Invested

  12. Drove growth

  13. Negotiated

  14. Minimized

  15. P&L Accountability

#2. Communication with Colleagues

Good communication with colleagues is an important asset to have when joining a team, and these are the perfect buzzwords to emphasize skills relevant to a good communicator:

Resume Buzzwords For Communication Skills

  1. Mentoring

  2. Writing

  3. Oral communication

  4. Mediating

  5. Teamwork

  6. Training

  7. Empathy

  8. Presentation

  9. Sense of humor

  10. Listening

  11. Patience

  12. Compassion

  13. Confidence

  14. Positivity

  15. Open-mindedness

#3. Task/Project Management

If you’re applying for a project manager role, you need some project manager resume buzzwords that will make you stand out from the fierce competition.

First off, they can structure your resume by topic of discussion. Next, and more importantly, they can help you showcase your knowledge of the position and your expertise.

To accomplish both, you need to know where to insert which buzzword. That is why we’ve categorized them into three groups: resume buzzwords you can use for skills, tools, and concepts.







Risk management




Project scope


Arrow diagramming method (ADM)





Process improvement

#4. Teamwork

Since the phrase “team player” is one of the washed-up, has-been resume buzzwords to avoid, you need powerful tags that will accentuate your team spirit and teamwork skills.

These action verbs will accomplish just that:

Resume Buzzwords For Teamwork Skills

  1. Managed

  2. Represented

  3. Volunteered

  4. Facilitated

  5. Proposed

  6. Collaborated

  7. Coached

  8. Supervised

  9. Partnered

  10. Motivated

  11. Teamed

  12. Liaised

  13. Moderated

  14. United

  15. Coordinated

#5. Creativity & Brainstorming

Creativity is a highly important asset, but stating that you’re creative sounds rather vague. That’s why we offer innovation and brainstorm buzzwords to accentuate your creative thinking skills.

Resume Buzzwords For Creative Thinking Skills

  1. Depicted

  2. Contrived

  3. Envisaged

  4. Devised

  5. Founded

  6. Established

  7. Initiated

  8. Formalized

  9. Crafted

  10. Launched

  11. Envisioned

  12. Redesigned

  13. Authored

  14. Composed

  15. Resolved

#6. Research

If the job you’re aiming for requires solid research skills, these are the buzzwords that will help them shine:

Resume Buzzwords For Research Skills

  1. Assessed

  2. Analyzed

  3. Discovered

  4. Calculated

  5. Interpreted

  6. Explored

  7. Qualified

  8. Investigated

  9. Surveyed

  10. Quantified

  11. Observed

  12. Monitored

  13. Data Analytics

  14. Experiment

  15. MS Office

#7. Achievements & Improvement

Important achievements and professional improvements should have their own spot in your resume. To draw attention to them, you should use the right buzzwords so they align with the description of the job you have your eye on. Here are some of them:

Resume Buzzwords for Achievements and Professional Improvements

  1. Awarded

  2. Attained

  3. Demonstrated

  4. Completed

  5. Exceeded

  6. Earned

  7. Reached

  8. Outperformed

  9. Resolved

  10. Surpassed

  11. Conserved

  12. Diagnosed

  13. Modernized

  14. Reduced

  15. Increased

#8. Proficiency

While it may seem too basic, one of the buzzwords for proficiency is “proficient.” Well, in some cases, simplicity is key. In that spirit, let us offer a few effortless ways to accentuate your proficiency. You can use them to highlight your language or computer skills, as well as industry-specific ones.

Resume Buzzwords for Proficiency

  1. Adept

  2. Primed

  3. Savvy

  4. Dexterous

  5. Prepared

  6. Fluent

  7. Competent

  8. Experienced

  9. Qualified

  10. Resourceful

  11. Studious

  12. Talented

  13. Versed

  14. Methodical

  15. Apt

4 Examples of How to Use Resume Buzzwords in Your Resume

how to write a cv

Having the right resume buzzwords is wasted potential if you don’t use them the right way. Many adjectives or action verbs in a row can be tiresome to read. Additionally, if you use too many buzzwords, you’re not accentuating anything, which is defying the very point of buzzwords.

Your selection and placement of buzzwords throughout your resume should also depend on the section. Therefore, we’ll categorize examples of how to use resume buzzwords in your resume by sections and highlight the differences between good and bad examples.

#1. Resume Buzzwords in the Summary

The summary section of your resume is a brief introduction, so you need to use it wisely. Using the wrong buzzwords or having a lack thereof can make an experienced candidate appear underqualified.



Certified tech-savvy project manager with 5+ years of experience.

Proficient in Agile project management and relevant tools, such as Jira and Asana.

Keen on assisting the team in facilitating communication between designers and stakeholders.

Increased team productivity by 43% and decreased turnover in 2021.

Professional project manager with 5+ years of experience.

Used Agile project management techniques.

Helped to improve team productivity in 2021.

The difference between these two is clear. The first candidate is tech-savvy, proficient, and keen on assisting the team and facilitating communication. Moreover, they have experience in increasing team productivity to back up those claims.

Meanwhile, the other candidate has all the qualifications, but their resume won’t stand out. Additionally, their delivery is dry, making them seem less enthusiastic about the job.

#2. Resume Buzzwords in the Education Section

If you want to accentuate your academic accomplishments and milestones, you should sprinkle the education section of your resume with the right buzzwords.

However, you need to be careful to avoid sounding too vague. Take a look at the table below to see how this should and shouldn’t be done:



Extracurricular projects:

Adapted educational resources for students with disabilities by initiating a textbook digitization project at the university library, involving scanning and converting more than 15,000 books.

Organized student book exchange meetings with over 500 participants.

Extracurricular projects:

Adapted educational resources for students with disabilities.

Organized student book exchanges.

As you can see, the person on the right (and in the wrong) is vague about their achievements and has only two buzzwords, while the one on the left has managed to include four without overstuffing their resume.

#3. Resume Buzzwords in the Professional Experience Section

The professional experience section is where you want to highlight your technical skills, industry-related knowledge, and work experience relevant to the job in question.

As always, there are right and wrong ways to do it—take a look:



Monitored an amusement park landscaping project worth $250,000.

Supervised a team of two technical consultants and three landscape architects.

Successfully realized the project within the deadline and estimated budget.

Monitored a landscaping project involving a team of five.

This comparison once again shows how four buzzwords in one sentence aren’t too much if you use them correctly. It’s also another example demonstrating that vagueness isn’t your friend when it comes to crafting your resume.

#4. Resume Buzzwords in Other Resume Sections

Other resume sections can involve your volunteer work and personal statements and projects. You can present your achievements in those areas as impressive or ordinary.



Volunteer work:

Initiated a tradition of motivational meetings between undergraduates and inspiring business leaders from various industries, including computer science and marketing, in 2021.

Personal projects:

Delivered a series of presentations on project management at the university from 2020 to 2022. 

Volunteer work:

Initiated motivational meetings between undergraduates and business leaders.

Personal projects:

Gave presentations on project management from 2020 to 2022.

4 Valuable Tips for Incorporating Resume Buzzwords

resume illustration with other elements

For final touch-ups on your resume, we offer a few valuable tips for incorporating buzzwords. Whatever the job you’re applying for may be, following these simple guidelines will bring you closer to your goal.

#1. Analyze the Job Post

The job post itself may include some buzzwords that will enhance your resume. Analyze it to determine what skills the employer is looking for and how to make them stand out in your resume and cover letter by mimicking the keywords used in the ad.

#2. Research the Company

In your summary section, you should emphasize your values and expertise. Researching the company will offer insight into how they envision their perfect candidate. You can then use your newfound knowledge to present yourself as such by tailoring your resume to include the right buzzwords.

#3. Include Industry-Related Keywords

Whichever the industry and the sector you’re applying for, you’ll want to showcase your job-related skills. The best way to do that is to include industry-related keywords and highlight relevant skills with buzzwords.

#4. Highlight Your Strongest Assets

Highlighting your strongest assets is especially important if you don’t have a lot of experience. In that case, you’ll need to focus on emphasizing your potential and learning skills. Assets such as creativity and research skills are the ones you should aim to accentuate with the right buzzwords.

Final Thoughts

Landing a job can be a challenging task, but the right resume buzzwords will make you stand out as an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and experienced candidate. However, knowing how and where to use them may not come naturally. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered, as our selection of buzzwords can make you the most memorable applicant.

Thus, learning which buzzwords to use and which are cliché, as well as what skills and traits to accentuate and where will get you a long way ahead of the competition!

Kervin Peterson
Kervin Peterson
Career Coach
Whether you need help preparing for an interview, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, or creating a resume, you can rest assured that our dear Kervin Peterson can help! Kervin is a man who can turn obstacles into experience with his eyes closed, always striving to bring the most to the table. Other than being a career coach, he’s a new dad and loves nothing more than hitting the gym and spending time with his family!

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