linkedin buzzwords avoid

10 LinkedIn Buzzwords To Avoid Using

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These days there is a plethora of ways for employers and candidates to find one another. With the job market becoming ever more competitive it is not enough to simply send off a CV showcasing your skills and experience. Employers will look you up online and if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you may be falling at the first hurdle.

LinkedIn, for those of you still stuck in the dark ages, is like Facebook, only for your professional life rather than your social life. You can link with old work colleagues without worrying that they might see photos of you drunk. They can write shining reviews about how wonderful you were to work with, and prospective employers can gain a better idea of what you are like as a person than a CV alone offers.

Sadly, the same problems that many employers lament about peoples CVs still exist on LinkedIn. The same boring LinkedIn buzzwords are being used with no real benefit to either the job-seeker or the employer. Below is a list of the words and phrases guaranteed to convince prospective employers that you are completely unimaginative.

10. “Responsible For…”

Reading this term, the recruiter will picture the completely average, uninspired employee robotically completing their job requirements with no individuality or flair, the same way they filled in their LinkedIn profile. Responsibility for something isn’t something you achieved — it’s something that happened to you. You could’ve just as easily have been responsible for a £2 billion rise in profits as a nuclear meltdown. It doesn’t indicate success or failure. Change passive phrases into decisive, active verbs like “led” or “efficiently managed”.

9. “Hardworking”

Anyone can call themselves a hard worker. It’s much more convincing if you provide examples of your hard work in previous jobs, and how your hard work benefited the employer. Show – don’t tell.

8. “Goal-oriented”

This is vague and bland. You are not a football player. And if you were, your manager would assume that you were goal orientated. This goes without saying.

7. “Experience Working In…”

Experience is another passive word – experience happens to everyone, every day. Showcase your experiences through examples.

6. “Team Player”

There are very few jobs that don’t involve working as a group in some tasks. If you have a success story about a successful team collaboration you took part in, write about it instead of simply stating the obvious. Explain how you contributed to the teams’ success.

5. “Problem-solving Skills”

You know who else has problem-solving skills? Dogs. Chickens. Ants. Stick to skills that require a human.

4. “Attention To Detail”

Everyone pays attention to detail. What sets you apart from them?

3. “Effective”

Effective is a very subjective word, a lot of people interpret it to mean mediocre or average. Being effective at your job is a basic requirement. If that is something you feel deserves attention it may imply to potential employers that you are lacking in other, more impressive skills.

2. “Perfectionist”

This word is a nice way to say you are difficult, high maintenance or nit-picking. Basically a nightmare to work with.

1. “Creative”

Are you a “creative” and “hard working” job applicant? You’re also “predictable,” like the myriad of other applicants out there who splash “inspirational” buzzwords throughout their CV, LinkedIn and job applications in order to seem “inventive.”

LinkedIn releases an annual list of the most overused buzzwords on their profiles, and guess what? “Creative” has achieved the honor of first place for the last two years. By using the word creative, you are ironically proving your lack of creativity.

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Jayne Spencer

Jayne Spencer is a careers advice consultant. When people are looking to gain skills in order to boost their employability she often recommends they go to http://www.souterstraining.com/.

4 comments

  1. Great article! Now I have noticed some pit falls that I have used in the past on my resume. I guess I will have to change perhaps to expound on those ‘buzzwords’ with real examples, accomplishments etc…Thank you for sharing this piece.

  2. Is Creative the number one “buzzword” because LinkedIn attracts a large share of Marketing, Art Director, Copywriter and other Communications professionals? Personally I have worked in more than one Creative Services department and so I cannot delete or substitute that word. Plus Creative will be in the job description for more than just the job titles I listed above. Yes – I know that I should show my creative accomplishments not just say you are creative. I predict that Creative will continue to be the number one “buzzword”. Any ideas on synonyms or alternate ideas?

  3. Love the article, I read a lot of resumes myself, “Motivated” and “Self-Starter” are other buzzwords I see a lot that are vague, cliche and overdone. I had read someone’s resume to him that had a lot of these same words in it and he told me that it sound it like I was talking about someone else. He saw that he did not stand out but was just like everybody else.

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