Get Ahead

10 corporate buzzwords that show up in job listings the most—and how to use them to land a role

Pali Rao | E+ | Getty Images

You may think you need to completely rework your resume or cover letter for different job opportunities, but many recruiters are looking for similar qualities in candidates.

According to new data from SimpleTexting, a text message marketing platform, recruiters use some of the same corporate lingo and expressions in job ads to attract talent. And though the report says these words can be "overused" and even "cringe-worthy," using them could help your resume stand out. 

SimpleTexting compiled 45 buzzwords — sourced from Forbes and Inc. articles and the subreddit "r/recruitinghell" — and then analyzed over 6.6 million U.S. LinkedIn job postings to find out which of the buzzwords are used the most per every 1,000 job ads.

Based on the findings, these are the top 10 most common corporate buzzwords recruiters use in job postings:

1. Innovator

Number of job ads (per 1,000): 82.06

2. Dynamic

Number of job ads (per 1,000): 59.28


Number of job ads (per 1,000): 36.76

4. Proven track record

Number of job ads (per 1,000): 31.35

5. Empower

Number of job ads (per 1,000): 30.71

6.Thought leader

Number of job ads (per 1,000): 29.04

7. Leverage

Number of job ads (per 1,000): 26.39

8. Self-starter

Number of job ads (per 1,000): 24.21

9. Data-driven

Number of job ads (per 1,000): 17.04

10. Scalable

Number of job ads (per 1,000): 14.94

When it comes to submitting applications, job seekers are often advised to include words from the job listing. However, Drew Wilkinson, head of marketing for SimpleTexting, says that even if you use these keywords in your resume, they should actually be reflective of your character and capabilities.

"Using these common phrases alone isn't enough to get an applicant hired," Wilkinson tells CNBC Make It. "Stating that you're an innovator isn't sufficient if you don't demonstrate in your application how you've innovated in previous roles."

What's more, Wilkinson says that there are also ways that job candidates can incorporate these buzzwords in their resume while still standing out from the applicant pool.

"On a resume or job application, applicants should support these 'catchy' buzzwords by listing detailed examples of how they made an impact, using numbers and statistics that measure their success. For example, applicants shouldn't just state that they have a "proven track record of success" in their applications. They should state that they 'helped grow the company's revenue by X%' or 'helped reduce overhead costs by X%.'

For people looking for more ways to catch a recruiter's attention, here are 3 more tips that Wilkinson recommends:

1. "Customize your application and personalize your experience to the specific role you're applying for."

2. "Show previous work samples you're most proud of (i.e., a successful campaign, a design portfolio, writing samples, etc.)."

3. "All in all, opt for substance over style. Applicants can use a moderate amount of buzzwords in their applications, so long as they back them up, using the key points above."

Check out:

3 office-friendly breathing exercises that can help you combat stress at work

39-year-old self-made millionaire: 'Success isn't owned, it's rented. And rent is due every day'

This Black founder sold her company to P&G—why she says she's 'selling up,' not selling out

Sign up now: Get smarter about your money and career with our weekly newsletter

How these Black female entrepreneurs are building wealth
How these Black female entrepreneurs are building wealth