Have you looked at your LinkedIn profile lately? Chances are you’re one of the millions who describe themselves with overused words such as “specialized,” “passionate” or “creative.”
Related: 5 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand
Every year, LinkedIn analyzes the summary section of more than 400 million users to find these buzzy words. Its recently released list of the top 10 most overused words found in profiles will give you an idea of what you should take out from your online resume.
The top 10 LinkedIn buzzwords:
“When you come across a LinkedIn profile that proclaims that a person is ‘a passionate, skilled professional with extensive experience,’ do you have a good sense for their skills? Probably not,” says LinkedIn Career Expert Blair Decembrele.
On average, a recruiter will spend five to 10 seconds looking at a LinkedIn page, so it’s more important than ever to make your profile stand out. This is easier said than done. The solution is not to just replace those buzzwords with some others that you find on Thesaurus.com, but instead use language that illustrates your professionalism and successes.
Decembrele shares some tips to help spice up your LinkedIn profile:
1. Focus on your professional brand.
Write a summary of 40 words or more -- the more words you have, the more often you’ll show up in a recruiter’s search. Instead of including any of those generic buzzwords, use your summary to write about your professional brand and career goals, and bring in some data and metrics to back up what you’re saying.
“Rather than saying you’re a ‘passionate sales executive,’ consider using metrics that can help quantify your skills to showcase that you ‘spearheaded sales resulting in over $500,000 annual recurring revenue,’” Decembrele says.
2. Upload an excellent profile picture.
Your profile picture is more important than you think -- it’s a significant part of someone's first impression of you.
“Members who include a profile photo receive up to 21 times more profile views and 36 times more messages," Decembrele says.
3. Add visuals.
The last thing you want is a boring LinkedIn profile, so on top of banishing those buzzwords, you should also make your profile appealing to the eye by adding pictures, videos and presentations to your “experience” section.
4. Say what you’re looking for.
If you don’t include what you’re looking for on your profile, then people won’t know whether you’ll be a good fit. List your current or desired location in your profile -- this makes you stand out up to 23 times in searches, Decembrele says. Many recruiters will source for candidates through their location.
5. List your skills.
When you’re describing your previous experience, don’t just explain what you did on a day-to-day basis -- instead, write about what you gained. List at least five relevant skills you have gained in your previous positions, projects or volunteer jobs.