10 Most Overused Buzzwords On LinkedIn Profiles (And How To Avoid Using Them)

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When you apply for a new job, your potential employer is likely to suss you out on LinkedIn. Everyone wants to differentiate themselves on their profile but many people fall into the trap of filling it with overused words that sound impressive. LinkedIn has looked at the most overused buzzwords on Australian profiles for 2016 that you may want to stay away from in 2017. We have some advice to help you out with that.

LinkedIn scoured millions of profiles on its professional social network website to find buzzwords that have been used repeatedly in 2016. It has released a top 10 list:

  1. Specialised
  2. Leadership
  3. Passionate
  4. Experienced
  5. Strategic
  6. Focused
  7. Expert
  8. Creative
  9. Successful
  10. Excellent

“While Aussies are choosing to describe themselves as 'Specialised', ironically, they are doing very little to communicate why they are ‘special’," LinkedIn head of communications Shiva Kumar said. "LinkedIn data shows you only have five to ten seconds to impress a potential employer online, so it’s important to stand out from the rest of crowd. Using the right words and substantiating them with real examples of your work makes your profile more authentic."

So, What You Should Replace The Buzzwords With?

There's no hard and fast rule about substituting the buzzwords on the list. Sometimes you can't replace them with one single word. Award-wining biography author Chris Sandford has some advice that can help you freshen up your LinkedIn profile without relying on vacuous words that don't really mean much:

  • Make your words count: Your profile summary is one of the first things people look at, so it’s important to get it right. You want the reader to want to know more about you, so start with something punchy. Don’t be afraid to lead with a short sentence, such as ‘Music is my first love’.
  • Be direct: It’s often tempting to speak in the third person when it comes to our working lives - don’t! It’s impersonal and won’t draw the reader in. Don’t shy away from adding some personality to your language – this is a great way to show your character.
  • Showcase your experience: Your LinkedIn profile is 12 times more likely to be viewed if you have more than one previous position listed. Tell your ‘work story’ by listing all your relevant previous roles and describe what you achieved in those roles.
  • Show, don’t just tell: Illustrate your unique professional story and your achievements by including evidence of your work. Paint the picture with visuals - whether that’s a video of you speaking at a conference, a research paper you authored, a news article that features you, or an image from a launch of a big campaign.

What other buzzwords have you noticed on LinkedIn profiles that make you roll your eyes? Let us know in the comments.


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