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    6 Words to Never, Ever Use on Your LinkedIn Profile

    Kaitlan Whitteberry

    The fastest way to get potential employers to glaze over your LinkedIn? Use tired words. When overused, words initially thought would attract attention become dated and meaningless, like they've lost their spark. It might take more effort to get creative with the copy on your profile, but it's worth the investment. Your personal brand is your most important customer, and no one will put the time in but you. Avoiding this common LinkedIn mistake is simple, be sure to eliminate these six words from your page, and replace them with the suggestions below. 

    Strategic

    This word is used so often on LinkedIn, and while it might have a nice ring to it, it's not really saying much of anything. Without data or results backing up your claim, this word is almost meaningless. Since it's so over-used it also makes you seem a little lazy, or unable to think of another way to describe your success. 

    What to say instead: Show recruiters exactly what you did with more defined terms suggesting exactly what you did to reach towards a goal. Some good options are words like advanced, generated, influenced, sustained or any of these action-verbs

    Unique shutterstock_1024667134

    While we're sure that you're probably special in your own way, using this word on your LinkedIn conveys the exact opposite - that you're just like everybody else. False cliches and unoriginal copy might make you seem generic to a recruiter with lots of profiles to go through. And we know you're anything but that!

    What to say instead: Focus on telling a story that shows rather than tells why you're a candidate workplaces should consider. Include examples of recent work, or solutions you began working on yourself that show you took initiative and have critical thinking skills, which are both traits potential workplaces want in their workforce.

    Game-Changer

    Unless your name is Mark Zuckerbuerg or Elon Musk, you're probably not radically changing your industry all by yourself. Using this term can often come across as being overly-confident, which is a quality most teams would rather not have to work with each day. 

    What to say instead: Explain exactly how you feel you're making a difference in your organization. Or even better, talk about what drew you to your industry, maybe share the turning point that got you started. Mention what you do want to change about your current industry, and what you're doing to get there. 

    Technology-in-the-Workplace

    Expert

    We've all heard it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, but it seems there are quite a few too many "experts" on LinkedIn. While you may understand a subject really well, try showing that in your profile rather than including this over-used term. 

    What to say instead: Talk about your experience in your profile to express your level of expertise without explicitly saying it. You can include years to give scale, but focus more on your achievements to drive the point across. Mention those recent classes or workshops you attended in an effort to stay on top of the changing market. These examples will show you're intelligent enough to acknowledge and respect the fact that there is always more to learn. 

    Passionate

    Using this word in your profile is kind of like saying stating "I like my career". It's hopefully already assumed and it really doesn't need to take up valuable profile real estate. Even worse? It was one of the most frequently used terms on LinkedIn profiles last year.

    What to say instead: Delete the buzzword and replace it with examples of personal projects, awards or volunteer work related to your field. Being passionate is definitely something recruiters want to see, so let your summary and experiences do the talking for you. 

    Go-Getter

    What you're meaning to say is you take initiative and are highly driven, which is great! Employers love to hire employees that get things done. However, this term doesn't prove you went out and got much of anything. 

    What to say instead: Include phrases under your job description or summary that highlight your drive. Take this excellent example from HubSpot that does just that. "I've completed 10 ultra-marathons. Most people (including my family members) think I'm crazy, but I love to set targets that push me out of my comfort zone and help me grow. I bring this  philosophy with me to work, figuratively going the distance for my clients." 

    We love how this brings some personality to your profile, while subtly hinting that you take initiative at both your place of work and personal life.

    Kaitlan Whitteberry

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Kaitlan Whitteberry

    Kaitlan Whitteberry is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Missouri's journalism program, and currently focuses on iOFFICE press releases, software updates and related news.

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