Your LinkedIn profile is a key digital identity that reflects your professional accomplishments. Thus, it shouldn’t just be a collection of most fancy words. Rather, it should tell the world about your job, skills, accomplishments and why you are good at what you do.
Every year, LinkedIn analyzes top ten overused terms that you should avoid using in your profile. Following are the list of ten words for 2017 that you must avoid in your profile:
Specialized – This is the most overused buzzword of 2016. To readers, it is another word that holds no importance. Instead of 'specialized,' use some critical instances or examples that reflect your expertise in the field.
Leadership – This term seems to be favorite of everyone. Even those who come out of college claim to have “great leadership abilities.” If I say, I have shown “excellent leadership skills,” it doesn’t reflect my real abilities or potential. Rather, I will write an incident and the things that I did and how I handled a particular situation which exhibits my leadership abilities.
Passionate – Can this phrase differentiate two marketers, ‘I am a passionate marketer with extensive experience in…’? Probably not! So it is not useful to write this sentence. Make some efforts and write something which is unique to your work.
Strategic – Let me tell you an open secret. Everyone in this world is a strategic thinker. At least, this is how most people would like to describe themselves. So remove this term immediately from your LinkedIn profile. It neither explains your thought process nor your great personality.
Experienced – It is better to write years or experience in particular role than writing a phrase like “experienced professional . . .” Again, it is not bad to be experienced. However, since most of the people are writing the same word, it becomes a cliché and reader don't notice it.
Focused – Does this term signify anything related to your work? Almost all tasks require a certain amount of attention. At the same time, all the jobs or offices offer some distraction in terms of meetings, etc. Moreover, I have never seen a single professional who can confess that they are not focused.
Expert – Being an expert in something is not wrong at all. However, in the age of social media and outsourcing, everyone claims to be an expert on almost everything. If you want to show an expertise, then write the instances that reflect your expertise in an area.
Certified – Okay. So everyone is a “certified expert with an extensive experience in . . .. “. Once upon a time, IT industry relied on certifications to spot talent. No longer. If a reputed authority has certified you, you can use new language to demonstrate the value of your certification. Otherwise, skip it.
Creative – Irony just died a painful death. Most of the users claim they are creative, while their profile doesn’t show an iota of creativity. Thus, if you are creative, prove it by presenting your LinkedIn profile in a unique way. If you can’t do it, then it is better to avoid this term.
Excellent – In the age of social media, the words like good, great, awesome seems to have lost their real meaning. Very soon the ‘Excellent’ will see the same fate. It is an adjective which should be used in the context of outstanding things. Avoid using it, until you speak of a rare professional accomplishment.
Avoiding these terms doesn’t mean replacing them with their respective synonyms. The idea is to write something which signifies your qualities and reflects your uniqueness. Thus, spend considerable time in writing a brief summary about yourself. Don’t take words from others’ profile. Rather, use iteration to create a perfect profile which symbolizes only one person “You.”
Adela Belin is an research analyst at writers per hour. She is also a renowned author, and a case study writer. Feel free to connect with her on social media.