Choosing and using key terminology

What’s a buzz word?
Buzz word is the informal term for a word (or phrase) which is popular and currently “in fashion”. There are “buzz words” in every industry and profession. We use buzz words to create a positive impression on our listener or reader and show them that we are keeping up with the latest developments in their profession.

Resumes are screened for buzz words and terminology
The use of buzz words, as well as key professional terms and phrases, is becoming increasingly important for you when you are looking for a job in your field.

Recruiting companies and some firms use software that is programmed to search for key words in resumes that have been submitted in response to a job posting. If those words are not in your resume, it will not be selected and you will not be considered for the job. Therefore, you need to:

  • Seek out these key words and phrases;
  • Understand what they mean;
  • Understand how to use them;
  • Determine which relate to you and your experience;
  • Use them!

Where do I find these terms?
These terms can be very specific to your field and change over time. Look and listen for key terms and phrases in the following places:

  • Job postings;
  • Job advertisements;
  • Professional journals;
  • Newspaper articles;
  • Workshops;
  • News bulletins, newsletters, websites of professional associations;
  • Television and radio interviews.

Remember: Your ability to express your experience, both verbally and in writing, is seen as a measure of how well you can do the work!


Study the following job posting for the position of health promoter/early childhood development

Source: Charity Village
Employer name and location as well as posting dates are changed.

“Rosy Cheeks” Community Health Centre
Health Promoter/Early Childhood Development

Position Type: Full Time
Date Ad Posted: 10/17/2002
Job Region: ON – Your Neighborhood
Application Deadline: 10/14/2002

Job Posting
Health Promoter – Early Childhood Development
Salary Range: $42,350 – $49,096

The Rosy Cheeks Community Health Centre is looking for a qualified Health Promoter/Educator, experienced in early childhood development, to join its multi-disciplinary health care team.

The Health Promoter/Educator will work with existing program staff to enhance our childhood development services/programs, as well as enhance access to services for our clients and community by strengthening partnerships with community agencies/services providing child development supports. University degree in related field with 3 – 5 years experience.


Key Accountabilities

  1. Assist staff in assessing and identifying children at risk between the ages of 2 – 6 for the purpose of referring children to appropriate childhood development resources.
  2. Assist in connecting current and new clients (children and parents) with all appropriate health center programs and services.
  3. Develop strong relationships with community partners and networking groups in an effort to identify and eliminate barriers for RCCHC clients to access child development services.
  4. Advocate for children and their parents to access appropriate child development services and community supports.
  5. Act as a resource to empower parent groups to take action on issues related to healthy child development.
  6. Ensure internal information systems, and other data sources, produce statistical data needed for planning and evaluation regarding healthy child development issues.
  7. Develop and implement health promotion/educational programs pertaining to healthy child development as needed.

If you are excited by this opportunity and have a proven track record as a professional Health Promoter with early childhood development expertise, please submit your resume with letter of intent

Compensation Type: Salary
Contact by: Email, Fax
Amount: $ 42,350 – $49,096


  1. Read through the above job posting again, this time writing down on a separate piece of paper (or highlighting) any buzz words or key terms that you see.
  2. Sort these key terms into parts of speech, i.e. verbs, and nouns or noun phrases.
  3. What do these terms mean? How would you say the same thing in another way?
  4. Relate this task to your own experience: Now that you have a sense of what these terms mean and how they have been used in this job posting, how would you present your own experience in writing if you were to apply for this position?


Tasks 1 and 2.
Here are some possible answers to questions one and two:
Verbs: assess, enhance; advocate; empower; strengthen; develop; implement; identify; eliminate; refer
Nouns: health promoter; health educator; early childhood development; clinical assessment, health care team; access; partnerships; community; accountabilities; community partners; barriers; parent groups; educational programs; resource
Adjectives: multi-disciplinary; at risk; networking; appropriate
Back to tasks

Task 3
Here are a few examples of possible answers to question three:
” accountabilities” = responsibilities
“Act as a resource person to empower parent groups to take action . . . ” = Be available to provide information to parent groups, to encourage and support them to do something about . . .
“assessing and identifying children at risk”” – “testing and evaluating the state of children’s development to find out whether a child may be at risk of falling behind in his
or her development”.