Fluff Words

Hook, line and sinker- Kinzy Janssen caught my attention in a recent Staffing Talk article entitled “Oh, Great. I’ve Been Endorsed for Microsoft Office.” What made me stop scrolling?  Her line: “To me, being endorsed for Microsoft Word is as embarrassing as a carpenter being endorsed for hammer skills.” Janssen is talking about the automated endorsement function on LinkedIn. Anyone on LinkedIn has the ability to endorse any of their connections with skills vital to their industry– BUT one can be endorsed for some “skills” that they do not necessarily want. We are not programmers or technical experts, and to be honest, these endorsements have little, if any true meaning to Recruiter.

As an employment agency, B.O.S.S. sees hundreds of resumes and LinkedIn profiles weekly! We decided to provide you with a list of 5-resume fluff words that most recruiters may glance over and 5-resume words that may stand out!

Fluff Words

  1. Experienced: In What? Provide certificates or examples instead!
  2. Results-driven: Avoid this cliché word by showing your results instead!
  3. Duties: Has a slight negative connotation– switch it out with achievements!
  4. Hard Working: Your resume should explain this without you having to say it!
  5. I: Don’t include the personal tense- instead focus on what you can bring to the company or your new team!


Stand Outs

  1. Initiated: Use if you have created something new!
  2. Expedited: Shows you don’t just keep your projects on task but finish them early!
  3. Spearheaded: If you led a project!
  4. Profits (or revenue): Numbers are great ways to highlight your success!
  5. Negotiated: Paints a picture for the reader to see you have key communication skills!


Remember: your “trophies in the trophy case” should shine on your resume and in the interview. These are two times when Hiring Managers want YOU show them off!

Don’t forget: Your LinkedIn profile should match-up to these wins!

What do you think? Are these words to keep or toss out? Did we miss any important words? Comment below to share your opinion!


-K O’Leary

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