Useless words and personal branding

Lately everyone has been here to recommend “Keywords” that should not be missing from a resume or professional network profile. In many cases, useless words.

The words that are so often used lose strength

Who does not recognize that the word "quality" is somewhat worn out and that sometimes produces the opposite effect?

Many words that originally have positive meaning can turn against us for abuse of use. "Quality" is a good example, but also "coach" and many others. Why? For overuse, but also by intrusiveness, by the fact that there are people who use quality without having it or the coach without being (to give two examples).

There's always a loser

There's always someone who loses out, and that's the one who really works with quality principles or the one who has really taken an official coaching degree. These professionals must squeeze their brains to the fullest to get the market to create them, they're authentic.

The 10 words you can't miss on a resume

A few days ago I read a Article with that tempting headline. But just as it's tempting it's misleading, because it seems to want to promote that we say things that maybe we're not really or don't represent. Or worse: they want to homogenize us, make all resumes the same.

The words they refer to as "obligated" throughout CVs are:

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Pro activity
  • Learning
  • Training
  • Progress
  • Objectives
  • Experience
  • Improve
  • Availability

The LinkedIn Study

In those earlier words we add that a study of Linkedin attributed as most commonly used in their profiles (in Spain):

  • Passionate
  • Creative
  • Motivated
  • Strategic
  • Specialized
  • Leadership
  • Multinational
  • Responsible
  • Expert
  • International experience

Does that mean that these words are forbidden?

No, Of course. It just means that are worn out, who have lost some of their value and that many people - perhaps unconsciously- they use them even if they're not entirely true because "everyone does it". In a nutshell, if we use those words we'll be one more, members an undifferentiated herd. Useless words.

Creativity in power

If we really don't want to bore recruiters with useless words the key is to convey those concepts using different words. The famous "passionate" used in Anglo-Saxon profiles looks great, but it doesn't distinguish. What if instead of "passionate about..." we talk about "they consider me a reference in..."? Or what if instead of "leadership" we talk about "team engagement"?

Can we seem ridiculous?

The Expansion newspaper recently published a Article Entitled That makes you look ridiculous and scares away recruiters which addressed this issue of words and also the rhyme in professional titles. can we seem ridiculous? maybe it's exaggerated, but what is certainly that they will perceive us as unecons/ original and something "ghosts".

The infographic

A few days after the article was published, one of the professionals I admire the most, Andrés Macario, has become a great Infographic content. A thousand thanks, Andrés!. Here we:

words that don't contribute. Infographic by Andrés Macario based on a text by Guillem Recolons

Words image by

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11 thoughts on "Useless words and personal branding”

  1. Great Guillem reflection; as they say in these cases “someone had to say it”
    However, I get another reflection: If to do profile searches we use “tags”, it is logical that it is recommended that those keywords or “most sought after”, because otherwise, you're out of the hype. But if that, as you point out in this post (and I share 100%) doesn't tell you apart and it homogenizes you, how can we differentiate ourselves and, at once, you find us from the keywords? Or maybe the strategy is another, For example, differentiate even from the massive keyword search strategy?
    Anyway… well done!

    • True, Xavier. It's a good question.. I think those words “keywords” search can be in the profile, in the descriptions… What you might be watching is by holding them in headlines.. On Linkedin, For example, if you repeat the word “Motivated” 20 sometimes you'll be the king of SEO and you'll show up the 1st when someone searches “Motivated”. The question is, does anyone look for profiles with “Motivated”?. I think searches are done more by position: “Barcelona architect”, “Valencia programmer”… and in this respect the post alert that once there is worth being something more original in the extract. Thank you for writing!

  2. As a counselor, I always advise people I attend not to put on their resume or say in a selection process: “teamwork”, if they don't count in their roles how they've worked as a team and what achievements or benefits for the organization have earned.

    • Enrique, thank you for your contribution. It is true that achievement is key, because it's facts and not words. And we talked about the need to demonstrate our value and our contribution to the future organization, not to add expendable literature in a role or interview. A cordial greeting!

      • Dear Guillem,
        Every day I learn from great personal brand professionals like you. In my contents I like “Drink” of the best, as has been the case.
        I am fortunate to be able to integrate knowledge from different fields in the direction of Vacolba to drive the sales of our partners in the digital environment. An exciting world full of discoveries.
        I'm so glad you liked the infographic and I'm flattered that you use it in your post.
        Don't stop discovering things!!
        A strong hug,
        Andrés Macario

        • Dear Andrew,
          Professional recognition is often less frequent than it should be, and maybe it's because people think they'll highlight what “Other” do them little; cracking mistake, sharing what we like makes us bigger and in passing recognizes those who create valuable content. I consider you a must-refer, so imagine my surprised face when I saw you echo a writing of mine, and not just echo, Also “Picto-eco”, adding an excellent infographic. You've seen it.. It didn't take me two minutes to incorporate it into the post..

          A forty hug and my sincere thanks!


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