February 12, 2015 | 5 min read
Revamping Your LinkedIn Profile? Avoid these 10 Buzzwords


If you are planning on giving your LinkedIn profile some TLC this month, you don’t want to miss this recently released list from the networking giant!  LinkedIn has analyzed the profiles of its 332 million users to compile their annual list of the most overused buzzwords and phrases.  For the United States, the top offenders of 2014 included the words, “motivated,” “creative,” and “passionate.”

The bad news?  If you are writing that you are a motivated individual, chances are, everyone else is too.   Additionally, simply saying that you’re motivated doesn’t necessarily prove that it’s true, which in the long-run doesn’t help you stand out from other job seekers on LinkedIn.

Now for the good news; there is a way set yourself apart and prove your worth without turning to that list of overused buzzwords.  “While this may take more thought than simply listing a couple of adjectives throughout your profile, utilizing your headline, professional summary, and experience sections is a great way to tell the story of who you are as a professional and what value you bring to the table,” advises Heather Cianchetti, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Creative & Digital division.

When editing your profile, all you have to remember is to show, not just tell.  For example, if you want people to believe you are a creative individual, write about certain accomplishments, milestones, career goals, etc. that highlight your creativity.  Additionally, it can’t hurt to ask for recommendations from your connections that focus on the adjective you want to highlight.  In fact, to prompt someone in your network to write you a relevant recommendation, you can remind them of a specific project you worked on together that emphasizes the buzzword you have in mind and ask them to comment on the process and end-result.

While writing these stories and asking for recommendations may take more effort in the short-run, your hard work will pay off in the end.  Employers and other like-minded professionals are much more likely to connect and engage with LinkedIn users if they can see why they would be an authority in a certain area, so make sure that you are proving your expertise with stories – not just words – throughout your profile.

With this in mind, here is the 2014 U.S. List of the Top 10 Most Overused LinkedIn Buzzwords:

  1. Motivated
  2. Creative
  3. Passionate
  4. Driven
  5. Extensive experience
  6. Organizational
  7. Strategic
  8. Track record
  9. Responsible
  10. Problem-solving
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