Are there some phrases to avoid in your job search?


Lewis Levin advises job seekers to avoid hackneyed phrases when speaking to potential employers. Consider these:

  • ‘next generation’
  • ‘flexible’
  • ‘robust’
  • ‘world class’
  • ‘scalable’
  • ‘easy to use’
  • ‘cutting edge’
  • ‘well positioned’
  • ‘mission critical’
  • ‘market leading’
Lewis says that researchers have found that these were the six most commonly used phrases in press releases.
Whenever possible, replace cliched marketing phrases with specific examples. Instead of saying that you worked on a “mission critical” project, explain what it was specifically that made your work so valuable. For example, you can say, “By working as effectively and hard as I did, I allowed the company to complete a release of its product by the quarter-end deadline, allowing it to realize revenues from a client sale at a time when the company was under severe pressure to demonstrate that it was translating ideas into cash.”

If you can’t come up with a more specific phrasing, it’s possible you can do without the phrase altogether. I wouldn’t sweat it though, if you’re using these phrases. There are good reasons that marketing departments use the phrases so commonly: when they are backed by credible claims they help you to convey the significance of the value you add.

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