LinkedIn now has more than 500 million users.
If you want to stand out, you’ll need to avoid buzzwords that recruiters have seen a thousand times before. Some words are used so often that they eventually lose all meaning for the reader.
In this post, you’ll learn the 10 words to avoid so you can tell potential employers what they really need to know. You’ll also learn how you can communicate your skills and expertise in your LinkedIn profile without relying on buzzwords.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
This is one of those words that doesn’t tell recruiters much about your attitude. Anyone can claim to be “motivated,” so it’s an ineffective word to communicate your ambition.
It’s like if you were to describe your own career as “legendary.” That’s not how it works–someone else needs to say it for you.
Claiming you’re passionate about maximising ROI or minimizing WIP sounds a little over the top. Most people use this word because they’re aiming to set themselves apart from others when it really does the opposite.
Use words like “specialize” or “concentrate” instead. Even better, share results that prove how focused you really are.
The word “creative” is one of the most commonly used words on LinkedIn. Instead of using this word, consider highlighting your creativity by making your profile eye-catching. Add presentations, videos, and pictures to the “experience” section.
Think of interesting ways to stand out. Tell stories that use results and numbers. Describe your creative accomplishments in concrete terms.
Maybe your LinkedIn profile states that you’re customer driven. Or perhaps you’re data-driven. Or maybe you’re simply using “driven” alone.
No matter how you’re using this word, it’s similar to “inspired” or “motivated” and tells recruiters nothing about you.
Instead of using filler words, use LinkedIn to request recommendations from clients, colleagues, and managers. When you make your request, you could even mention that you’d love if they’d highlight your motivation and drive.
Recommendations are listed in your profile right underneath your experience. These will allow you to “show” instead of “tell” your audience who you are.
This is another word that doesn’t say much. Isn’t everyone responsible to some extent? You can also be responsible for a certain activity, which is just a boring way of telling people that you did something.
Let’s say you work as a social media marketer. Instead of saying you’re “responsible for social campaigns,” write that you grew conversions by 60% through three social channels.
“Responsible” is passive language that can easily be changed to an active expression. Instead of telling people what you’re responsible for, tell them what you’ve accomplished. Achievements will always be more impressive than responsibilities.
If you’re using the word “strategic” you probably recognize that employers are most concerned about your ability to do the job. But this is another opportunity to show instead of tell.
To showcase your strategic thinking skills, you need to use concrete terms. Highlight some of the different initiatives you kickstarted and the problems they solved for your company or team.
Have you ever noticed that true experts never actually describe themselves as experts in a particular field? While it’s great to be called an expert, you shouldn’t ever claim to be one.
Once again, this is when you need to demonstrate your expertise. How?
Build a LinkedIn profile with recommendations, concrete experience, and numerous accomplishments. This will demonstrate your expertise much more effectively than the word “expert” ever could.
8. Track Record
We all have a track record. This track record may be good or bad, but it’s guaranteed to be “proven” (this word usually goes hand-in-hand with “track record”).
“Track record” actually implies some great things. You’ve done a lot of things, and hopefully, many of these things were awesome. You’ve made things happen, gotten results, and impacted your team or company in a meaningful way.
Since you have a “proven track record”, you can share some facts and figures to demonstrate this. Describe waste percentages, social media followers, on-time performance rates, or even under-budget statistics. Use these numbers to prove your track record.
This is another filler word that really means nothing at all. It’s often followed by other words such as:
- Organizational behavior
- Organizational optimization
- Organizational communication
- Organizational development
Consider whether any of the above actually give readers a good sense of your skills. There are probably multiple ways you could describe your role and tasks without using the word “organizational.”
When recruiters read these terms, they’re more likely to roll their eyes than think, Wow this person shows organizational behavior, I should get in touch.
10. Extensive Experience
Sure, you could have “extensive experience” in social media or web design. But the number of years you’ve been doing something doesn’t indicate whether you’re any good at it. You could be terrible at social media or the worst programmer around.
What employers want to see is what you’ve done. What percentage did you increase your company’s social media followers by? How many back-end systems did you install? What kind of applications have you developed?
Your LinkedIn profile will automatically show visitors how long you worked in a certain position when you add your dates. No one cares how long you’ve been doing a certain job unless you can demonstrate that you’re also getting solid results.
Is It Time to Update Your LinkedIn Profile?
As you can see, your LinkedIn profile should primarily be about proving your worth (professionally). Instead of using wishy-washy terms that are standard across almost every profile, focus on real results.
Describing yourself as “creative” and “strategic” may sound good when you’re writing your profile. But although they’re familiar, they certainly don’t stand out to recruiters.
Communicating your expertise and skills takes work. With a little editing, your LinkedIn profile will help you stand out from the competition.
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