If you're using LinkedIn for your job search, you understand how important it is to have a fully fleshed-out profile. You want to make sure potential employers know up front that you're passionate about your work, have extensive experience in the field and are driven to achieve your goals.
While these terms may in fact accurately describe your career experience, they don't mean much when everyone else is using them, too. LinkedIn recently released its list of the 10 most globally overused profile buzzwords in the past year:
"Like most things in life, if you’re willing to put a little time and effort into making simple changes to your profile, you’re going to get a whole lot in return," said Blair Decembrele, a career expert for LinkedIn and the author of an accompanying LinkedIn blog post . "All you have to do is get started."
Christopher Stanford, another LinkedIn career expert, notes the language we use says a lot about us.
"It’s important to choose your words carefully, especially in a professional context," he told LinkedIn. "Too often we hide behind buzzwords which don't mean anything, whether out of a desire to keep things simple or because we don't feel confident talking about our work accomplishments. [Use] language which truly conveys what makes you great."
Sandford provided advice for those unsure of where to begin when improving their profile:
Make an impression with your summary. "Your profile summary is one of the first things people look at, so it’s important to get it right," said Sandford. "Start with something punchy. You can do this through specific phrases, storytelling or even clever use of punctuation. Don't be afraid to lead with a short sentence, such as, 'Music is my first love.'"
Be direct. Sandford cautioned against speaking in the third person when it comes to describing your work life.
"It's impersonal and won't draw the reader in," he said. "Take a professional tone and be assertive and direct when you’re talking about your achievements, don’t hide behind buzzwords or jargon."
Use plain (but engaging) language. "List out all your relevant previous roles and describe what you did in everyday language. This will help people understand the breadth of your 'work story,'" Sandford said.
Show, don't just tell. While language is important, so is showing real examples of your work. Sandford advised uploading presentations or projects that bring your words to life.
"These are individual to you and help paint the picture of your special skills and unique background, whether that’s an image from a launch of a big campaign or the blog you write in your spare time," he added.