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Professionals Touting “Creative,” “Organizational” and “Effective” Get Stung by LinkedIn’s Annual List of Overused Profile Buzzwords

December 04, 2012

LinkedIn releases the most overused words and phrases in members’ LinkedIn Profiles for 2012

Mountain View, Calif. Dec. 4, 2012LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 187 million members, today released the most overused words and phrases in members’ LinkedIn Profiles for 2012.

The No. 1 most overused buzzword in LinkedIn Profiles globally and for professionals based in the United States is “creative.” Here’s the entire 2012 list of the top 10 terms that are most prevalent in the profiles of U.S.-based professionals:

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

“Every day potential business partners, clients and employers are searching for professionals on the Web,” said Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert. “If you want opportunity to come knocking, you’ve got to make your LinkedIn Profile stand out from the pack. Millions of professionals say they’re ‘creative,’ so set yourself apart by describing and linking to projects you’ve worked on that truly were different, unique and compelling. Pointing to concrete examples of the creative work you’ve done is more convincing than simply stating you are a ‘creative’ professional.”

This is the third year that LinkedIn has issued its buzzwords ranking. “Creative” was also the top overused buzzword for professionals in the U.S. in the 2011 rankings. In 2010, the first year the study was conducted, “extensive experience” was the No. 1 buzzword for professionals based in the U.S. When LinkedIn released its first buzzwords ranking, the site had over 85 million professionals. LinkedIn now has more than 187 million professionals and is growing at a rate of approximately two new members per second.

For a global flavor, here are the 2012 No. 1 buzzwords for countries in which LinkedIn fielded this study:

  • 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
  • United States: Creative

If the buzzword bug bit your LinkedIn Profile, here are a few ways you can remove the sting and make your profile sparkle in 2013:

Check out the competition

  • Do a LinkedIn Advanced People Search for people who live in your ZIP code and have the same job title as you. We’re often harsher critics of other people’s profiles than we are of our own. By looking at your peers’ LinkedIn Profiles, you’ll get a better sense of what you like and don’t like about each of them. Make sure you incorporate that feedback into your own profile.

Become a magnet for endorsements

Make heads turn… with a killer professional headline

  • Your professional headline is one of the first things people see in LinkedIn search results. By default, your professional headline is based on the title you entered for your most recent position, but you can edit it. Think of your professional headline 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 – in this case, your complete LinkedIn Profile.

Visit the LinkedIn Blog to learn more about LinkedIn’s 2012 buzzwords study and to download the infographic.

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About LinkedIn 

Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. With more than 187 million members worldwide, including executives from every Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet. The company has a diversified business model with revenues coming from its talent solutions, marketing solutions and premium subscriptions businesses. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, LinkedIn has offices across the globe.