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The 10 Most Common Words (and Misspelled Words) on Resumes

‘Responsible’ was found to be the most frequently used word, featuring in 5,146,386 resumes over the last six months.

A new study has revealed the most overused words on resumes, with ‘responsible’ coming in first, which features on more than 5.1 million American resumes. 

QR code generator QRFY, compiled a list of 50 commonly used resume words and phrases, and then ran each of these through Indeed’s Resume Search, to find which featured the most across resumes updated in the past 6 months. 

‘Responsible’ was found to be the most frequently used word, featuring in 5,146,386 resumes over the last six months. It has a significantly high usage rate, appearing 349% more frequently than any other words on the list, while also being the most-used word on resumes in each individual state. 

The second most-common word was found to be ‘organized’ which featured in 3,864,497 resumes. A crucial skill employers seek in today’s dynamic job market, which reflects the need for individuals who can manage workload, deadlines, and resources effectively. 

Closely following in third is ‘social’ which featured in 3,491,557 resumes, highlighting the importance of building and leveraging professional networks. 

‘Trained’ placed fourth being used 2,952,148 times, while ‘Leader’ ranks fifth featuring on 2,330,139 resumes.  

  1. Responsible
  2. Organized
  3. Social
  4. Trained
  5. Leader
  6. Proficient
  7. Motivated
  8. Exceptional
  9. Experienced
  10. Friendly

The 10 most commonly misspelt words and phrases on resumes 

As well as looking at which words are the most overused, the analysis also looked at the most misspelt words on resumes.  

‘Professional’ was the most commonly misspelt word, which was found to be spelt as ‘profesional’ on 38,697 resumes within the past 6 months, with a number of jobseekers forgetting the crucial double ‘s’. 

The second most misspelt word was ‘organized’, which saw 20,260 resumes adopt the UK spelling of the word, ‘organised’ which uses an ‘s’ rather than a ‘z’. 

Following in third, was ‘enviroment’ rather than ‘environment’ which cropped up in 14,770 resumes, and missed the ‘n’ from the word. In fourth was the misspelling of ‘management’ as ‘mangement’ which misses out the letter ‘a’ and featured in 9,354 resumes. 

The fifth most misspelt was the word ‘receive’, where people often transposed their vowels instead spelling it as ‘recieve.’ 9,354 resumes failed to follow the rule of ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ with this word. 

  1. Profesional
  2. Organised (Correct in UK)
  3. Enfiroment
  4. Mangment
  5. Recieve
  6. Independant
  7. Knowlege
  8. Confidant
  9. Seperate
  10. Focussed

Speaking on the findings, Marc Porcar, CEO of QRFY who carried out the study, commented: 

“For those seeking career advancement, better work-life balance, or simply wanting a change of role, using the right language on your resume is crucial if you want to impress potential employers. If you’re using the same old buzzwords as everyone else, it can often feel difficult to stand out from the crowd. 

“Job seekers should aim instead to offer specific examples of when they have demonstrated a certain characteristic, rather than just saying they are ‘organized’, for example. Doing so evidences to a potential employer that you can back-up these claims with previous work experience, which should help you stand out from other candidates, who may not have been as thorough.”