The most overused words on Australian LinkedIn profiles

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Australians are starting to change the way they describe themselves in their professional profiles.

Analysis from LinkedIn shows that Australian professionals have shifted to highlighting skills and experience rather than personal strengths.

LinkedIn analysed the most used words in member profiles and found that the word “focused” has dropped out of most profiles in Australia.

LinkedIn’s top 10 Australian buzzwords this year:

    1. Experienced
    2. Specialise
    3. Passionate
    4. Skilled
    5. Leadership
    6. Motivated
    7. Expert
    8. Strategic
    9. Successful
    10. Creative

Compared to last year’s list, “specialise”, and “passionate” are still in the top three.

“Experienced” has replaced “leadership” which shows that professionals are keen to highlight their capabilities.

“Excellent” and “focused” have disappeared from this year’s list to be replaced by “skilled” and “motivated”.

Sociolinguist Rodney Jones, a Professor from the University of Reading, says this narrowing from generic terms to words such as “skilled” and “specialise” reflects a change in jobs. They are becoming more specific and experience-driven.

“Roles in the banking and pharma sector, for example, are under increasing scrutiny and as a result require more verifiable skills and attributes,” he says.

The 2017 global list of buzzwords reveals an increased use of “leadership” in recent years. Professor Jones says this could mean companies are becoming less hierarchical, with even the most junior members expected to demonstrate leadership.

“Job tenures are getting shorter for many Aussie professionals and we are seeing the rise of gig workers who take on multiple jobs,” says Shiva Kumar, LinkedIn’s Head of Brand and Communications in Australia and New Zealand.

“The language we use to promote ourselves to find the next career opportunity is shifting from highlighting particular personal strengths, towards skills and abilities that can be more specifically categorised.

“More and more we are seeing recruiters use keywords to identify the perfect candidates. As such, it is important that Australian professionals are using the right words in their profiles to ensure they are standing out and putting their best foot forward to land the right job.”

Kumar’s advice is to provide examples, or proof, to back up your description of yourself.

Using the top ten buzzwords isn’t a crime in itself. But don’t make a bald statement saying you are experienced and then not back that up with a few facts or examples.

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