10 Words to Avoid Using During Your Job Search

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Imagine you’ve sent in your cover letter and resume to the job of your dreams. However, weeks go by and you haven’t heard a peep from the employer. Are you not qualified for the position? Or was it something you said?

Today’s job market is highly competitive, which is why job seekers must avoid using words that could cost them a job. Whether you’ve just applied for a job or you’re preparing for an interview, here are 10 of the worst words you can say during your job search:

1. “No.”

Using “no” in any shape or form can negatively impact your job search. Use positive words during your jobs search and interviews because you want to show your enthusiasm and confidence to employers.

2. “Um…”

Whether you’re in an interview or on the phone with a hiring manager, avoid using “um” at all costs. Although most people don’t realize they use filler words, it’s essential to stop using “um” so you don’t distract the person you’re talking to.

3. “Kinda”

This is another word job seekers must avoid at all costs. First, “kinda” is not a word and hiring managers will be caught of guard when you use it in a sentence.

For example, when a hiring manager asks if you have some type of experience, you don’t want to say “I kinda know how to use Microsoft Office.” You either want to say “Yes” or “No, but I’m willing to learn.”

4. “And what not” or “you know”

These are more filler words job seekers should avoid during their job search. These are empty words and in no way do they help you communicate your skills or experience to a hiring manager. To avoid using these words, simply be concise in your answers and say exactly what you mean.

5. “Hate”

Whatever you do, never use the word “hate” during your job search. Regardless of whether you had a bad boss or working experience, you should never, ever say this word. Not only is this a negative word to say, but it’s likely you’ll make a very bad impression when you use it. For example, when referring to a negative experience such as “I hated it when my boss gave me extra work”, this might send a red flag to the hiring manager.

6. “Sorry”

Never say I’m sorry during a job interview unless you accidentally bump into the interviewer. Most interviewers don’t want to hear, “I’m sorry about running late” or “Sorry, I couldn’t find my  reference’s phone number” because it shows unprofessionalism. To avoid this word, always be prepared for any interaction with an employer.

7. “I don’t know”

This is another phrase job seekers must avoid using because it shows a lack of confidence. Even when an interviewer asks you a question that you feel clueless about, it’s crucial you are prepared to give some type of answer — whether it’s right or wrong.

8. “What?”

You never want to say “what” during a job interview because it shows hiring managers and recruiters either you weren’t prepared or listening.

You also don’t want to ask an interviewer questions such as “What does your company do?” or “What is the best part of this job?” Instead, you should say, “Can you tell me more about what I’d accomplish in this position?” This shows you are actively engaged in the interview and interested in learning more about the job.

9. “Obsessed”

Job seekers may use “obsessed” when expressing their passion for what they do, but this adjective can have a negative connotation. Instead, say you are passionate about a particular project or you are captivated by something specific in your field. These are much more positive words that show hiring managers your enthusiasm for your career.

10. Curse words.

This might seem like common sense, but it’s absolutely necessary to avoid saying curse words during a job interview. Not only are they inappropriate, but they will also cost you a job.

What are some other words job seekers should avoid using during their job search?