Top 10 Overused Buzzwords on LinkedIn

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  Stewart F Gwyn 7 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #174339

    Ami Wazlawik

    From the LinkedIn blog, an interesting post on the Top 10 overused buzzwords in LinkedIn profiles.

    The Top 10 overused buzzwords in the U.S. include:

    1. Creative
    2. Organizational
    3. Effective
    4. Motivated
    5. Extensive Experience
    6. Track Record
    7. Innovative
    8. Responsible
    9. Analytical
    10. Problem Solving

    What other buzzwords do you think are overused on LinkedIn and in resumes/cover letters?

  • #174387

    Stewart F Gwyn

    soft skills, as in does s/he possess these? Seems you have to meet or greet these over a lunch/meeting to sense depth. We are asserted to set these out there with our hard skills. These soft skills seem to rule. My soft skills being (partial list) etiquette, consentience, and consciousness to perform duties. Some have different meanings to “soft skills” or preference to area one wants to invest in their soft skill.

  • #174385

    Steve Cottle

    I’d probably add that it seems like “proven” is overused and “strategic” is misused.

  • #174381

    Barbara Moskowitz

    Because words are commonly used, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they are “overused.” Changing words just for the sake of being different often leads to strange word choices that simply confuse the reader.

  • #174379

    Alice Tsai

    Interesting, but these look a lot like key words on Fed PD that are recommended to include in the corresponding federal résumé….

  • #174377

    John Dittmer

    What I thik is being overused on LinkedIn is the new endorsement feature. I’m getting people I never met endorsing me in the hope that I’ll endorse them back. To make it mean something, I’ll only endorsed people that I actuall know.

  • #174375

    LinkedIn lost a huge opportunity with this blog entry, proving that they’re just as lazily opportunistic as those who they indirectly mock for using the alleged buzzwords. Everyone loves a top 10 list at the end of the year, and LinkedIn needed one, too.

    The point of the frequency of use of these very generic words is not that they’re buzzwords, but that they’re clearly important to our time. How do you stand out, when you are, in fact, creative or motivated or analytical or good at solving problems, and everyone else wants to say they are, too? You show, don’t tell.

    Give concrete examples, tell a story, check out options like Deck Out Your Resume, check out the article FastCo: The New Science Of Resumes–And Why Yours Sinks To The Bottom Of The Pile, and otherwise PROVE that you’re these things. Don’t just say it. The art of the storytelling is difficult, but worth the investment.

  • #174373

    Jon Kennedy

    Good point. I often find that the only thing “overused” is the online Thesaurus. Folks tend to use a word that is rarely used for the sake of not using the word more commonly known…kinda stupid. And there always seems to be a sesquipedalian in the room…

  • #174371

    Andrea Schneider

    Thanks for the references.

  • #174369

    Andrea Schneider

    Buzz words seem to cycle through each year. These words have real meaning if understood as action or methods. It’s a shame when they are used randomly without any “meat”. Can make extraordinary, very ordinary.

  • #174367

    Virginia Carlson

    So …. if we want to make it past the Taleo keyword system, we must use words that are in the job description. So if those words happen to be “innovative” and “motivated” and “effective” — then we have to use them. Therefore, I blame Taleo.

  • #174365

    Reply to Stewart F Gwyn

    You wrote, “We are asserted to set these out…”

    Did you mean “we are encouraged to set these out…”?

  • #174363

    Stewart F Gwyn

    sure, encouraged! underlined and stressed.

  • #174361

    Don Duggins

    What I find most interesting in the “interesting post” is the graphic that associates a top word with a particular country. It suggests to me that a common term is a byproduct of the culture.

  • #174359

    Pamela McLeod

    Just because they are used frequently does not make them “over used” and being used frequently or even “over used” does not make them buzz words. Several of these are clear concise descriptors of competencies that are required for some jobs. Trying to come up with a contrived alternative makes no sense. I echo Kerry Ann.

  • #174357

    Erik G Eitel

    Agreed!! Endorsing someone on LinkedIn is becoming just about as valuable as clicking the “like” button on Facebook. I think that’s largely due to the fact that they suggest people to endorse right when you sign on. Hopefully that changes soon.

  • #174355

    Erik G Eitel

    I think this is the biggest part of this discussion. The systems that are used to pick up on key words are to blame. If you’re not using these “overused” keywords then chances are your profile and resume won’t stand out to right people through search.

  • #174353

    Marlene Q. F. Young

    I agree that we should strive to use exact words to communicate. “Overarching goals” “best practice” are overused. Also, is “uptick” (sp?) a real word?

  • #174351

    Eric Erickson

    The fact that LinkedIn releases a report about words that are used a lot on their site does not make those terms ‘buzz words’ or ‘overused,’ it just means there is an employee at LinkedIn who is crunching the numbers to justify their worth in the office. To me, a ‘buzz word’ is a $100 term that could easily be replaced by an everyday term. Buzz words are words people use to make them seem smarter or more qualified.

    For instance, I cannot think of a better way to say ‘Creative.’ If someone is truly creative, they can clearly say that by just using that word. If instead, they used: Inventive, Ingenious, Innovative, Leading-edge, Originative or Visionary…then I think they are using buzzwords.

    There are many people — including myself — who are ‘creative.’ On the other hand, not many people — including myself — are truly visionary.

  • #174349

    Great, had to bust out my thesaurus to look up sesquipedalian. My issue is the overuse of utilize instead of use. Then in writing classes they tell you not to overuse any specific word but to use similar words that mean the same so the text does not get too repetitive. But, if you are trying to do a resume/profile/cover letter, as Anne stated, you do have to use the buzz words in the announcement or position description.

  • #174347

    English is a living language and if “uptick” is used enough it becomes real. That is why Ginormous is now used regularly since Elf came out.

  • #174345

    But that’s in writing classes, which are usually geared towards writing fiction.

    Better to follow what you learn in a business writing class, or even better, a journalism class. And consider the Plain Talk principles of using short words over longer, multi-syllable words. (Sesquipedalian, my foot!)

    I like George Orwell’s rules on writing, from “Politics and the English Language” (esp. #6)

    1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

    2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

    3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

    4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

    5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

    6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

  • #174343

    Marlene Q. F. Young

    I understand that English is a living language, but Ginormous and uptick? When it is first used on radio/television, it becomes legitimate. Other comments have indicated that we use words like utilize and use in the same document as we have been taught not to repeat words too often in piece of writing. True. Also, the newest edition of Strunk & White includes changes to spelling of words that weren’t “OK” before. I have commented probably because of the English major background. Why is this so interesting? (rhetorical or not).

  • #174341

    David B. Grinberg

    Steve: can you kindly elaborate on how “strategic is misused”? Interested in your thoughts on this. Thanks.


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