Why buzzwords don’t always make you a better job candidate

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When you’re applying for any aviation job, you owe it to yourself to show yourself in your best light so you stand a good chance of bagging your dream job.  However, if you haven’t applied for a job for a while and you’re just about to put pen to paper…stop and think! 

In the last decade or so, the social media has made the world of employment a much smaller place than it was before.  This is good news and bad.  It’s good news because it means that reaching out to potential employers and showing them your wares has become easier and more accessible for all.  It’s bad news because if we don’t market ourselves like top-notch brands, we can look like weak candidates before we even respond to the job vacancy.

In 2012 LinkedIn started publishing an annual list of Most Overused Buzzwords and have continued to do so right up to 2014.  In 2014 the words (or expressions) they highlighted as the most over used in online CVs or LinkedIn profiles were:

  1. Motivated
  2. Passionate
  3. Creative
  4. Driven
  5. Extensive experience
  6. Responsible
  7. Strategic
  8. Track record
  9. Organisational
  10. Expert

By their own admission, a huge number of the hundreds of millions of LinkedIn members do in fact have all of these qualities.  However, there is growing evidence that the more people use these terms, the less believable they become.  So what does this mean for you as an aviation job seeker? 

What it means is that buzzwords that might have cut the mustard back in the early noughties or late nineties no longer do the trick because everyone’s using them.  What you need to do is make sure you stand out with your own unique vocabulary.

Using a thesaurus is an option but could lead you down another dead end because a synonym of an over used word isn’t all that much better than the overused word itself.  So what can you do? 

Take motivation as an example.   It may well be that your motivation is one of the things that really does make you stand out from the competition and makes up one of your 3 Unique Selling Points (USPs) as a candidate.  However, finding a way to tell the story of your incredible motivation, rather than simply choosing another word to describe motivation is more likely to make your motivational claims become more believable and more real. 

In this case, what you should aim to do is demonstrate your motivation unequivocally by telling a short story or giving a brief example of your motivation in action.  You should do the same with your other USPs or characteristics.  While this mightn’t be an easy task, it’s sure to pay dividends when it comes to making it clear to prospective employers that you’re a cut above the rest.

If you’re on the lookout for an aviation job, why not upload your CV today to get headhunted by top airlines and aviation companies as well as receiving job alerts that tell you when new jobs that match your criteria are posted on our site? 

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