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Using words like creative, effective and motivated on your LinkedIn profile may not actually help you stand out from the crowd. In fact, a new study has named those as three of the most overused buzzwords on LinkedIn profiles for workers in the United States.
"Creative" topped the list as the most overused buzzword for the second straight year. Other widely used buzzwords among U.S. workers included organizational, effective and motivated. The rest of the top ten were:
- Extensive experience
- Track record
- Problem solving
"Creative" also topped the list of most overused buzzwords among workers in eight of the 21 countries polled for the survey. In five other countries — including Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United Kingdom — "motivated" reached the top of the list. Other overused buzzwords across the globe include responsible, multinational, effective, specialized and experimental.
"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."
LinkedIn users can take a number of other steps to set themselves apart from the crowd, the researchers said. In particular, LinkedIn users should follow these tips:
Check out the competition: Do a LinkedIn Advanced People Search for users 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. Looking at your peers’ LinkedIn Profiles will give you a better sense of what you like and don’t like in a profile. Make sure you incorporate that insight into your own profile.
Become a magnet for endorsements: When you add relevant LinkedIn Skills & Expertise to your profile, your first-degree connections can endorse you for those specific skills. You can add up to 50 relevant skills and areas of expertise (like ballet, iPhone or global business development) to your profile.
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 headline is based on the title you entered for your most recent position, but you can edit it. Think of your professional headline 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.
LinkedIn compiled the list of buzzwords through an examination of 187 million of the site's users. To create the list, LinkedIn took the adjectives from the summary section of all public profiles and composed the top repeated-words for each country.