10 words Australians use too much on LinkedIn

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LinkedIn has unveiled this year’s most overused words on Australian profiles.

At the top of the list is “specialised”, a new entrant to the top 10. It replaces “leadership” which came in first in 2016.

The buzzwords were collected from millions of profiles to compile the 10 worst offenders for the past 12 months.

The list is revealed to coincide with what is historically the busiest week of the year for LinkedIn profile updates as people return to work and start thinking about a new role.

LinkedIn says Australians are using buzzwords such as specialised, passionate or strategic in an attempt to highlight their expertise, not realising that they are in turn diluting their professional brand.

Recruiters and human resource managers can spot over-used words at great distances and start marking down candidates who can’t back up the buzzwords with facts about their careers.

The top 10 LinkedIn buzzwords for 2017 are: Specialised, Leadership, Passionate, Experienced, Strategic, Focused, Expert, Creative, Successful, Excellent.

“While Aussies are choosing to describe themselves as ‘specialised’, ironically, they are doing very little to communicate why they are ‘special’,” says Shiva Kumar, LinkedIn’s head of communications in Australia and New Zealand.

“LinkedIn data shows you only have five to ten seconds to impress a potential employer online, so it’s important to stand out from the rest of crowd.

“Using the right words and substantiating them with real examples of your work makes your profile more authentic.”

Christopher Sandford, the bestselling biographer who spends his working life explaining the achievements of others, shares his tips on how to stand out:

  • 1. Make words count. “Your profile summary is one of the first things people look at, so it’s important to get it right. You want the reader to want to know more about you, so start with something punchy. Don’t be afraid to lead with a short sentence, such as … Music is my first love.”
  • 2. Be direct. “It’s often tempting to speak in the third person when it comes to our working lives — don’t. It’s impersonal and won’t draw the reader in. Don’t shy away from adding some personality to your language — this is a great way to show your character.”
  • 3. Showcase your experience. “Your LinkedIn profile is 12 times more likely to be viewed if you have more than one previous position listed. Tell your work story by listing all your relevant previous roles and describe what you achieved in those roles.”
  • 4. Show, don’t just tell. “Illustrate your unique professional story and your achievements by including evidence of your work. Paint the picture with visuals — whether that’s a video of you speaking at a conference, a research paper you authored, a news article that features you, or an image from a launch of a big campaign.”

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