by Matt Kapko

The 10 Most Overused LinkedIn Buzzwords

Feb 11, 20155 mins
CareersLinkedInSocial Networking Apps

LinkedIn recently released a list of the most overused buzzwords in its users' profiles.'s Matt Kapko suggests a number of creative and effective ways to avoid the buzzwords, polish your profile and stand out to hiring managers.

Overused LinkedIn Buzzwords

The English language is composed of more than a million words, but when it comes to presenting oneself professionally on LinkedIn many people gravitate toward 10 words in particular. You should not. Instead, you should focus on specific accomplishments, avoid vague or generic buzzwords and use examples to showcase your talents in your profile, according to LinkedIn. The following slides spotlight the 10 most-overused LinkedIn buzzwords, based on the company’s recent review of more than 332 million profiles, and detail more effective ways to demonstrate your professional value.

LinkedIn Buzzword to Avoid: Motivated

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It’s important for all working professionals to stay motivated, and motivation is a valuable trait for job seekers. However, instead of using the single most overused buzzword on LinkedIn in your profile, you should describe what specifically motivates you. Is your source of motivation unique? Explain why in your LinkedIn profile. How do you exemplify your motivation in your career? Don’t just say you’re motivated to succeed, describe what that motivation looks like and what success means to you.

LinkedIn Buzzword to Avoid: Passionate

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We are all passionate about something, and employers love it when personal passions overlap with professional ones. If you want to stand out among your peers, however, you should avoid using the buzzword “passionate” in your LinkedIn profile. Consider what you are passionate about and include examples or stories in your profile to illustrate this passion. If you’re passionate about applying complex data to gain insight into your profession, for example, clearly explain how you perform the task and what it means to your organization.

LinkedIn Buzzword to Avoid: Creative

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Creative thoughts and ideas are the lifeblood of any professional organization, but everyone is a least a little creative from time to time. Creativity itself is not particularly special or unique. What is the source of your creativity? How has your creative nature emboldened your career? What does creativity mean to you? You should answer these question as specifically as possible in your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Buzzword to Avoid: Driven

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“Driven” is another vague, noncommittal verb used by far too many LinkedIn users. Instead of writing, “I am driven to succeed” in your profile, consider what drives you and explain how that drive manifests itself in your work. If you think you’re an especially driven individual, describe where your motivation comes from and how it’s different than the average person’s drive.

LinkedIn Buzzword to Avoid: Extensive Experience

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“Extensive” and “experience” are two words that mostly mean the same thing, at least in the context of LinkedIn. It’s good social hygiene to avoid using them together. It’s takes practice to gain experience, sometimes even extensive practice. Describe the experiences that define who you are, and be specific about what you mean when you say you’re “experienced.” At the very least, tell the people who view your LinkedIn profile how many years of experience you have and why you think your extensive background is relevant.

LinkedIn Buzzword to Avoid: Responsible

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Responsibility separates the men from the boys in the professional world. Adulthood means taking responsibility for yourself, and it’s required of most professionals so don’t oversell it as a defining quality. Were you responsible for a specific accomplishment that you’re particularly proud of? How do you take responsibility for improving your career and the companies you work with? You should explain your specific responsibilities, as well as how you hold yourself and others responsible.

LinkedIn Buzzword to Avoid: Strategic

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Many people regularly strategize on how to effectively achieve goals, whether it’s graduating from college or paying the bills on time. To say you’re “strategic” simply means you’re human. You’re much better off explaining what you’re strategic about in your LinkedIn profile. Describe how you executed a specific strategy and provide examples of the most important outcomes. Was your strategy bold, reinvigorating or radical? If so, don’t be afraid to say that in your profile.

LinkedIn Buzzword to Avoid: Track Record

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“Track Record” is an overused buzzword that’s easy to avoid. Tell people who view your profile why you’re proud of your track record and what the results of it mean to your career. Provide details on how your track record demonstrates expertise and how it shapes your outlook on your industry. Colleagues, employers and potential business partners will appreciate your particular experience much more if you’re specific.

LinkedIn Buzzword to Avoid: Organizational

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Organizational skills don’t come easy, and some people have to work harder than others to gain them. However, being organized isn’t a professional differentiator. You should avoid using the term “organizational” in your LinkedIn profile and instead explain how your determination to keep everything in order makes you more productive, inquisitive or analytical. It’s also a good idea to explain how your organizational skills deliver meaningful results.

LinkedIn Buzzword to Avoid: Expert

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The 10th most overused buzzword in LinkedIn profiles says as much about today’s culture as it does about most people’s inability to be creative. We are not all experts at everything, and that’s OK. Some of us are experts at something, but you should be more creative in describing your expertise. It’s a good idea to recall some specific examples of when your expertise was particularly useful. It’s more effective to describe what makes you an expert and then define those areas of expertise than to come right out and call yourself one.