What is the most dangerous word you could ever say at work? It’s “try.” The word “try” is “short, sweet and fraught with peril,” insists Brad Hoover, CEO of Grammarly.com, an automated proofreader and personal grammar coach. Writing in Fortune magazine, Hoover says that using the word “try” — be it on your resume, in a job interview or to the boss’s face — shows you lack belief, passion, commitment and confidence. He notes there are 66 different synonyms for “try,” but “none of them are as convincing as words like do, believe, act, tackle, accomplish or succeed.”
When you use “try” on your resume
It implies that the task or responsibility is vague at best and incomplete at worst. Use it and it’s almost guaranteed your resume will end up in the trash. Instead, Hoover recommends using action verbs that are backed up by facts and examples as a way to make you stand out.
When you use “try” in a job interview
You come across as uncertain at the very time you want to be sharp and precise. Since employers are looking for savvy, confident employees, the words you use in an interview really do matter.
When you use “try” in the office
Your boss may think you’re not capable. “When I hear employees say they will ‘try to meet a deadline,’ ‘try to close a deal’ or ‘try to handle a customer issue,’ my next question is what do we need to do to ensure their success,” says Hoover. “When asked to complete a task that you do not feel is realistic, it’s better to suggest a more feasible goal. Managers appreciate problem solvers and employees who come to the table with solutions rather than problems.”