Job seekers aim to stand out in a crowded pool of applicants, but according to a new survey released on Tuesday (Dec. 14) by the professional networking site LinkedIn, many people are using the same overused buzzwords to describe themselves.
The most overused phrase found in U.S. professionals' profiles is "extensive research." Rounding out the top ten are the following: "innovative" (No. 2), "motivated" (No. 3), "results-oriented" (No. 4), "dynamic" (No. 5), "proven track record" (No. 6), "team player" (No. 7), "fast-paced" (No. 8), "problem solver" (No. 9) and "entrepreneurial" (No. 10).
"Phrases like 'extensive experience' and 'proven track record' can appear empty to a potential employer and may do more harm than good when you include them in your profile or resume," said LinkedIn spokesperson and career/workplace expert Lindsey Pollak. "If you're using any of these ten terms, wipe them out. Instead, note that you have eight to ten years of experience or that you increased sales by 300 percent. Include meaningful phrases that apply specifically to highlights you've achieved in your career."
Although "extensive experience" was the most used phrase in the United States, Canada and Australia, "dynamic" topped the list in Brazil, India and Spain. Meanwhile, "innovative" was most popular in Italy, France, Holland and Germany, and LinkedIn members based in England were more likely to include "motivated."
LinkedIn also encourages people to complete their profile in full (picture included), with at least 50 contacts, and list all jobs held in the past. The site claims that members are 12 times more likely to be viewed for potential opportunities if they have more than one position listed on a profile.