Top 10 Words to Avoid on Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has compiled a list of the top 10 overused buzzwords on their profiles, and when compared to last year’s report – it shows some interesting results.

At the end of 2011, LinkedIn was home to 135 million members. Now, this number has reached over 187 million worldwide (with over 10 million in the UK alone), and still, the number one buzzword used on profiles globally is ‘creative’. In 2010 (the first year in which this study was carried out), the number 1 buzzword was ‘extensive experience’.

The words on your LinkedIn profile have to be exactly right to ensure you attract the right people on LinkedIn. If a word is being used too much, it can be seen as trying too hard, or not being original enough. LinkedIn suggests that users should choose simple language to show what skills they have and the projects they have worked on – so give examples, results, and testimonials.

Here is a look at the Top 10 overused buzzwords on profiles in the US and worldwide.

The most overused buzzwords on LinkedIn profiles in the US and worldwide:

The top 10 overused buzzwords on LinkedIn profiles in the United States in 2012 were:

  1. Creative
  2. Organizational
  3. Effective
  4. Motivated
  5. Extensive experience
  6. Track record
  7. Innovative
  8. Responsible
  9. Analytical
  10. Problem-solving

Elsewhere in the world, these were the number 1 buzzwords in the countries where the study was carried out:

  • Australia: Creative
  • Brazil: Experimental
  • Canada: Creative
  • Egypt: Multinational
  • France: Responsible
  • Germany: Creative
  • India: Effective
  • Indonesia: Multinational
  • Italy: Responsible
  • Malaysia: Motivated
  • Netherlands: Creative
  • New Zealand: Creative
  • Saudi Arabia: Motivated
  • Singapore: Creative
  • South Africa: Motivated
  • Spain: Specialized
  • Sweden: Creative
  • Switzerland: Analytical
  • United Arab Emirates: Motivated
  • United Kingdom: Motivated

Similar to last year – ‘creative’, ‘organizational’, and ‘effective’ are all in the top 3. However, in 2012, more users are describing themselves as ‘responsible and ‘analytical’ – with ‘motivated’ overtaking ‘extensive experience’. What will make the list next year?

If your profile is filled with these buzzwords – you may need to do some changes. Here are some tips to help improve your profile and make it sparkle through 2013:

Become an Endorsement magnet

  • LinkedIn allows you to add Skills and Expertise to your profile – and your first-degree connections can endorse you for these. However, make sure you use the system correctly and don’t become one of the ‘Bad’ that Stacy Zapar outlined earlier this year. Also, you can only add up to 50 – so be selective but don’t overdo it!

Make the most of the headline!

  • When searching on LinkedIn, one of the aspects of your profile that appears is your professional headline. By default, it is based on the title you entered for your most recent position, but you can edit it and you should. Getting your headline right is crucial – think of it is just like the headline of a news article. You want to draw people in and entice them (whether they are potential hiring managers, business partners, or clients), so they click through to read the whole story – and in this case, this is your LinkedIn profile.

By Laurence Hebberd