Want Your LinkedIn Profile to Stand Out? Don’t Include These 10 Overused Words


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Your LinkedIn profile is a key component of your personal brand, whether you’re looking for a job, attempting to establish your thought leadership, or widening your circle of connections to include influencers or potential clients. Before a call, meeting, or any other type of professional networking, people will usually stop by the LinkedIn profile of the individual they’re meeting, so it had better be in top form: interesting, complete, and above all, memorable.

But how can a potential employer or client remember you if your summary sounds like everyone else’s? LinkedIn recently released its annual list of the most overused words on the social networking site, and I’m guessing everyone has at least one of these on their profile (I know I do).

Here are the top 10 global buzzwords, in order of their overuse.

  1. Leadership
  2. Motivated
  3. Creative
  4. Passionate
  5. Strategic
  6. Successful
  7. Driven
  8. Organization
  9. Dedicated
  10. Extensive experience

It’s probably not terrible to have one of two of these lurking on your page. But if you’ve included all 10? Time for a rewrite.

Catherine Fisher, LinkedIn’s director of corporate communications, recommends avoiding these words altogether by providing illustrative examples. For instance, instead of claiming to be “motivated,” describe the long hours you put in trying to get a new project off the ground. Rather than slapping the word “creative” on your headline, post your work on your profile, and list any awards celebrating your inventive work.

However, in certain instances, a simple synonym is all you need. Here are some suggestions to portray the same meaning in a not so tired way.

  • Leadership  command, influence, direction
  • Motivated – ambitious, determined, compelled
  • Creative – inventive, original, cunning
  • Passionate – fervent, enthusiastic, committed
  • Strategic – significant, consequential, high-priority
  • Successful – capable, qualified, productive
  • Driven – intent, persistent, tenacious
  • Organizational – administrative, managerial, authoritative
  • Dedicated – devoted, hard-working, determined
  • Extensive experience – seasoned, accomplished, proven, authority

Is this list inspiring you to launch a major profile overhaul? Consult this LinkedIn profile template for section-by-section guidance. With a fresh and unique profile, it’ll be much easier to demonstrate your extensive experience (oops, I mean authority) in your industry.