JobTalk Sweden

Swedish words to avoid when seeking a job

Swedish words to avoid when seeking a job
A recruiter's worst nightmare? File photo: Ryan Hyde/Flickr
Are you looking for a job in Sweden but having trouble with your CV? Here are the Swedish words you should avoid, courtesy of LinkedIn's annual list of "overrated" buzzwords.

The professional networking site LinkedIn annually publishes its tally of terms that pop up (too) frequently in its user profiles.

"Creative" grabbed the top spot for the past two years in a row, but a new word had sailed up to first place in 2014.

For any readers who ever spent time watching the low-budget, high-laughs television series Red Dwarf, you may want to recall that episode where Lister complains about what qualities women look for in men… "Reliable, sensible, dependable, and lots of other words that end in "ible". But it seems to be the reverse when it comes to what recruiters want from jobseekers…

Yes, ladies and gents, LinkedIn crowned one of the so-called "ible" words king last year.


There were other over-rated buzzwords on the LinkedIn list… Let's go through them in Swedish, shall we:

Responsible – Writing Jag hade ansvar or jag tog ansvar, or even using the adjective to describe yourself as ansvarsfull. Taking responsibility may be more active than simply having it, but neither of these sentences nor the description means much. Use examples, the LinkedIn experts counselled.

Strategic – This one is easy: Strategisk… but what does it mean? Strategy when playing the board game Risk means putting your plastic armies all over China, but at work? Does it mean drawing up a game plan? Writing lists? Ticking boxes? As a recruiter, you'd be fully in your right to scratch your head at this one.

Effective – also easy: Effektiv. Well, you'd hope so if you think you're competent enough to apply for a job here.

Patient – Tålmodig. Is this a covert way for the job seeker to say he or she isn't a psycho when bored at work? Or that they will bide their time and wait until the boss dies of old age before they move up a rung?

Expert – Also easy, expert or, so much worse, "innehar expertis", which makes it sound like the job seeker has swallowed a bit of expertise by mistake, or it's gestating inside them like a small alien. Also, it beggars the question, expert at what exactly apart from writing bland CVs?

Organized – organisatorisk or organiserad…. scouring CVs, the recruiter may also share this apparently much-touted trait… oh the joys of being organized. You as a recruiter might just be working your way through applicants' CVs either in the order they dropped into your mailbox, or you may have printed them out, and now you're going through the applications one by one, not randomly, not scattered on the floor, not upside down…

Driven – Målinriktad… again, that's great, but what does it mean? Was the applicant's goal to fika twice a day rather than the obligatory once? (And, as an interesting anthropological side note – did they succeed?) Or did it mean they set their sights on badgering poor Inga in accounts until she went for a date with said job seeker? Including that word in a CV has just driven the recruiter to toss it on the discard pile.

Innovative – Nyskapande…. ok, this at least feels a bit fresh. If I hire you then you'll come up with ideas… but what ideas? What will you do for me and my company? Or at least tell me what you did for your former/current employer.

Analytical – Analytisk. While LinkedIn concluded its list with this word, it may be less watered down than the rest. A recruiter would possibly imagine a furloughed brow and some tortoise-shell eyeglasses, maybe even a bow tie or corduroy trousers. A bit Sherlock…

Which brings us to the final point. The good people at LinkedIn illustrate the beauty of the above list. If you were to write the exact opposite of the words above, your non-employability would be clear to anyone, not just Sherlock Holmes.

Irresponsible – Oansvarig 
Unstrategic – Ostrategist 
Uncreative – Okreativ
Impatient – Otåligt 
Inexpert – Okunnig 
Disorganized – Desorganisatorisk (?) 
Unmotivated – Slö 
Uninnovative – Oinnovativ 
Unanalytical – Oanalytisk 

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