LinkedIn, the worldwide network for professionals, has released the most common empty-calorie words or phrases in members’ profiles and assembled a top 10 ranking for 12 countries.
The most overused phrase in Australia is “extensive experience” (we’re not alone; it’s No. 1 in the United States and Canada, too). “Dynamic” was fifth on our list, but was No. 1 in India, Spain and Brazil. Here’s Australia’s full top 10:
- Extensive experience
- Proven track record
- Team player
- Skill set
- Highly skilled
Why are these buzzwords problematic? In short, they’re a vacuum. They have no specific content and provide no real information. And because people — especially potential employers or associates — see these buzzwords over and over, their attention wavers. Or a reader rightly wonders if the profile is trying a hide a deficiency in experience. Either way, the reader is turned off.
“We have the unique ability to uncover interesting workplace trends in our data given the high volume of people with profiles on LinkedIn,” said DJ Patil, LinkedIn’s chief data scientist. “We wanted to reveal insights that help professionals make better choices about how to position themselves online.”
Lindsay Pollack, a New York-based expert in career and workplace dynamics, offered some specifics.
“Phrases like ‘extensive experience’ and ‘proven track record’ can appear empty to a potential employer and may do more harm than good when you include them in your profile or resume,” Pollack said. “If you’re using any of these 10 terms, wipe them out. Instead, note that you have eight to 10 years of experience or that you increased sales by 300%. Include meaningful phrases that apply specifically to highlights you’ve achieved in your career.”
In addition to detonating buzzwords, LinkedIn offered these tips for increasing the number of people who view your profile:
Accentuate it: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and includes all the roles you have had. You are 12 times more likely to be viewed for potential opportunities if you have more than one position listed on your profile. Also, add a profile photo – people never forget a face.
Plump it up: Connect to at least 50 trusted contacts. Import your contacts to start finding first-, second- or even third-degree connections working at companies you want as clients or would like to get in touch with.
Raise its Google stature: Have you done a Google search for your name? If you haven’t, you should. People are Googling you before meetings and interviews. Get your profile to come up higher in search results by customizing your profile URL.