Buzzwords on LinkedIn: Which Are They, and How Can You Avoid Them?
Do you want your LinkedIn profile to stand out? If so, strategically use words in the right places to help strengthen your profile. However, make sure you pick the right words. The temptation to use buzzwords—tired, overused terms that have essentially lost all meaning because everyone relies on them—can keep recruiters away from your profile. Instead, use relevant keywords that attract attention.
Here are the most common buzzwords to avoid on LinkedIn:
- Track record
Although you should certainly have these traits, avoid using these buzzwords in your profile. A professional-looking LinkedIn profile with all the right keywords but none of the annoying buzzwords is your first step toward landing a new job. Once you’re in contact with a recruiter, send them your resume. If it isn’t quite up to snuff, get our resume experts to polish it.
The key to avoiding buzzwords is to “show, not tell.” It’s not that hiring managers don’t value workers who are dedicated, driven, enthusiastic, and all the rest—it’s that they don’t believe it without proof. Buzzwords simply tell a recruiter what you are (or what you want them to think you are), but using explanations shows them your value. If your descriptions are filled with buzzwords, you’re not showing your value.
For example, you could say this:
A passionate and driven worker dedicated to building an impressive track record.
This sentence contains four buzzwords—boring, clichéd, and essentially useless. Instead, show your value by saying something like this:
Hardworking information technology engineer with eight years of experience in helping computer users navigate company software with ease.
The second statement shows recruiters exactly how you can add value to their company. Showcase your skills and experience without resorting to tired buzzwords. With nothing to back them up, buzzwords are empty and meaningless.
The more specific you are in your descriptions, the more willing a hiring manager will be to consider you for the position. If you just use buzzwords without specifying what you mean, recruiters are likely to overlook you.
Let’s see how you can specify some buzzwords.
If you’ve spent many years at one company or have worked in the same industry for a long time, you’re obviously dedicated to that company or industry. So, instead of merely saying you’re dedicated, demonstrate your dedication by explaining how long you’ve been with a company or worked in the industry. Not only does this easily prove your dedication, but it also reveals your extensive experience, which, in many ways, is more important anyway.
Being strategic means devising a plan to help a company improve in some way. Simply saying that you’re strategic doesn’t help recruiters determine how strategic you are. If you’ve helped a company increase its revenue, show how you accomplished that! Offering real-life examples of how you’ve improved operations proves that your “strategies” aren’t just theories that don’t pan out. However, be careful not to reveal sensitive company information—using percentages is always better than exact figures.
Don’t tell a hiring manager that you have leadership qualities—show them! If you’ve been in a leadership position at a company, be specific about how long you held it and what it entailed. You can even mention what your team accomplished as a result of your leadership. Of course, there are ways to demonstrate such skills without being in a formal leadership position. If you can’t use an official leadership role to prove your competencies, explain ways in which you’ve taken the initiative and rallied your colleagues.
Why do you love your industry? Demonstrate your passion beyond merely saying you’re “enthusiastic.” Recruiters want to know that you love what you do, and simply saying you’re enthusiastic doesn’t mean much. What accomplishments prove that you love what you do? In what ways have you gone above and beyond and demonstrated a rare passion for your job?
There are many more buzzwords and strategies to make them meaningful, but you get the idea. Don’t rely on buzzwords—explain your qualifications, skills, and qualities in a way that shows recruiters you’re the right person for the job. The key is to use examples and real-life accomplishments to show what you can do.
Once you have all the buzzwords deleted and replaced with concrete examples of your value, it’s time to get your resume ready for job applications. Not confident that it can do you justice? Contact our experts—they’ll get your resume in the best possible shape!