Better RFP Responses & Management
What, never?

What, never?

No, never.

OK, don’t believe me, although I am a passionate, driven, and result-oriented guru. Here’s Someone Else with a list of words you should never use to describe yourself on a resume or in a bio.

27 Words You Should Never Use to Describe Yourself

Nor should you use them to describe your company in a proposal.

See more here. And here.



  1. Jim Taylor

    It seems to me (as an over-simplification, to which I am too often prone) that increasing numbers of writers cannot distinguish between abstractions and reality-related words. I wrote a paper once about how we create abstractions. We have a number of words about real things, like cookies or flowers or people. We describe how they age, crumble, fade… But then we want a single term that covers all these descriptions, so we use decay or decline — a bit more abstract. Then we want a word that groups all these together: mortality, entropy… By now the original has been totally absorbed into the abstraction. No one actually knows what these abstract words mean, except the original speaker, who *assumes* that his readers can fill in all the intermediate steps for themselves.

    ‘Tain’t so, Magee…

    I’ve given people sample paragraphs loaded — deliberately — with abstractions. Many of them cannot identify the abstractions. They think “democracys” or “comprehensibility” refer to real things.

    In your examples, all of those 27 words could be eliminated if the writer simply recognized them as unsubstantiated abstractions.

    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim T – I think abstract/concrete is a useful distinction. What I used to try to do was to take 32 (or whatever) specific accomplishments, group them into no more than 5 categories, and name each category in a way that a customer would find appealing. That made otherwise endless lists assimilable, made the point obvious/clear, and provided evidence for the characteristic being claimed.

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