Overused LinkedIn Buzzwords … Are Job Descriptions and Recruiters to Blame?

Dec 13, 2013

LinkedIn came out with “Top 10 Overused LinkedIn Profile Buzzwords of 2013.”

As usual there has been a lot of attention given to this yearly list including articles giving advice on how not to use these words. I am sure speakers and trainers have already updated their slide decks.

So I wrote a blog post and sent it to Todd here at ERE with a bit of a rant about how I think job descriptions are to blame.

And how I wish LinkedIn would do the same thing with job descriptions.

Guess what? LinkedIn did, sort of.

Todd pointed me to The 10 Buzzwords Recruiters Overused in 2013 (scroll down here). It’s a look at Recruiter profiles and buzzwords.

And guess what …  you ready for this?

Some of the words are the same.

Are you shocked? I hope not.

So who is to “blame” for this?

I doubt those doing a job search, networking, and working on their personal brand just happen to be using the same set of buzzwords.

Is it possible that job seekers are using these words because they are seeing them in our profiles and job descriptions?

Do a job search for any of these overused buzzwords.

For example I found “innovative” 603 times on LinkedIn within 50 miles of Downtown Minneapolis, including:

  • “Do you want to be part of an exciting, innovative, and fast-paced growing software company”
  • “You’ll develop strategies that drive sales and innovation while creating a fast, fun experience that inspires guest loyalty.”
  • “…manufactures and markets innovative, high quality…”

A LinkedIn search for U.S. jobs containing some of the 2013 buzzwords gives these results:

  • 52,291 strategic
  • 37,983 effective
  • 32,848 innovative
  • 22,293 creative (many of the results have this in the title)

LinkedIn’s infographics state:

Originality goes a long way when marketing yourself to the professional world — both online and off.

When it comes to having a strong recruiter brand, originality and authenticity are keys to success.

The same can be said for job descriptions too.

So before we start giving the general population a lesson on how to best use their LinkedIn profiles we should first look at our own profiles and job descriptions.

Maybe then we can have more strategic, creative, and effective job descriptions and profiles that will bring us the innovative people we are looking to hire.

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