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The 14 words to avoid if you want a promotion

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
The job interview. Photo: Heidi Gutman/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Getting a promotion is always hard and it shouldn’t come down to the words you use.

But a survey of 300 employers by jobs site CV-Library has revealed the bias bosses have against those who use certain words that have become common in colloquial conversations.

The data shows that employers are less likely to promote someone if they use the following ‘buzzwords:’

  1. Obviously (49.8%) 
  2. Literally (45.9%) 
  3. Like (42.4%) 
  4. Just sayin’ (16.2%) 
  5. Banter (14.4%) 
  6. Totes (14%) 
  7. Amazeballs (11.4%) 
  8. My bad (10.5%) 
  9. Yolo (10%) 
  10. Me thinks (8.7%) 
  11. Sorry not sorry (8.3%) 
  12. On fleek (7.9%) 
  13. Epic fail (4.8%) 
  14. Cheeky (5.2%)

“We all have to adapt the way that we speak when we’re in the office, whether this means avoiding buzz words, swear words, or colloquialisms. The problem with buzzwords is that they come off as insincere, which can rile up your employer and colleagues,” said Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library.

“Be mindful that if you’re after a promotion, your employer won’t appreciate you saying a buzzword like ‘my bad’ to excuse yourself for making a mistake! To maintain your professional image, it’s best to use buzzwords sparingly.”