LinkedIn released its annual list of the top 10 overused buzzwords today. According to the study, which focused on English-language profiles worldwide, “responsible” was by far the most used word of 2013.
Responsible was also on the list of overused words in the 2012 study, along with “effective,” “creative” and “analytical.” In fact, “responsible” was use twice as often as the second most used word, “strategic.”
LinkedIn’s career expert Nicole Williams says that using these oft used buzzwords is a surefire way to not stand out from the crowd. Instead of saying you are responsible, she recommends uploading video, images and other representations of your best work.
“Providing concrete examples to demonstrate how you are responsible or strategic is always better than just simply using the words,” she says.
The study also yielded industry and country specific lists. In addition to everyone wanting to be seen as “responsible,” “strategic,” and “creative,” “expert” also appeared in the top 10 lists over all, as well as the sales and marketing categories.
If you’re guilty of using any of the words from the list, you might want to consider updating your profile. LinkedIn offered this advice for standing out from the crowd:
- Before you use that buzzword consider its opposite. Would you call yourself impatient or ineffective? Probably not. Let your profile demonstrate your effectiveness without ever having to use the word.
- Connect everything to results. Instead of using words like “innovative” or “strategic,” show people viewing your profile what you’ve done using numbers and portfolio examples.
- Make it active. If you have — or had — a job, it’s probably safe to assume you were responsible for something. Instead of simply saying what you were responsible for, tie that responsibility to measurable results.
- Build a documented reputation. In the past you’d just give out contact information for people you thought would give you a positive recommendation. Now, you can have those recommendations and testimonials of your awesomeness documented on your LinkedIn profile.
Check out the infographic below for the full list of the 10 overused buzzwords and other data from the study.
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