The most overused words on LinkedIn in 2013

Most people would agree being “responsible” is a good thing – but if you want your next employer to notice you, keep that off your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, released its fourth annual list of its members’ most overused words. In 2013, topping the list in both Canada and worldwide was the the word “responsible.” In Canada, that was followed by “strategic” and “effective” as the top second and third buzzwords, along with other popular adjectives like “creative” and “analytical.”

OK, you might say, you can still use other words to describe your attitude. And you can – just ensure “positive,” isn’t one of them, with LinkedIn finding it being the seventh most used word among the job seekers registered on its site.

Here’s the full list of LinkedIn’s most overused words for this year, among Canadian professionals:

1. Responsible
2. Strategic
3. Effective
4. Creative
5. Organizational
6. Expert
7. Positive
8. Innovative
9. Dynamic
10. Analytical

But like anything else, these phrases do go through upswings and low points in terms of their popularity. In 2010, the title for the most overused phrase worldwide and in Canada went to “extensive experience,” LinkedIn revealed, but now that phrase hasn’t even cracked the top 10.

And in 2011 and 2012, the top word here in Canada was “creative,” though that has now slipped down to 2013.

“Building your professional brand is an important step to being successful in the workforce. But if you sound like everyone else, you won’t stand out from other professionals vying for opportunities,” said Nicole Williams, a career expert for LinkedIn, in a statement. She added the best way to differentiate yourself was to tell your story, and to list specific accomplishments in your career. That means adding photos, videos and presentations to showcase your best work.

“Providing concrete examples to demonstrate how you are responsible or strategic is always better than just simply using the words,” she said.

LinkedIn also provided a few tips for would-be employees looking to spruce up their profiles. It recommends tying keywords to results, proving when and where you were “responsible” and “effective.”

The social networking site also points to the power of recommendations, asking your connections to provide endorsements about your skills sets. You should also follow different companies you want to work with, and tailor your LinkedIn profile to what they appear to be looking for.

For a full list of LinkedIn’s buzzwords and tips, head on over here.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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