LinkedIn has been publishing a list of the top 10 buzzwords found in LinkedIn profiles since 2010. These lists of words, some of which you might want to avoid because of over-popularity, are a compilation of the most commonly used terms from the previous year. (You can read my previous articles on LinkedIn’s buzzwords from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 here.) LinkedIn shared their latest buzzwords list back in January and somehow I missed it (sorry!). Better late than never, right?
Since LinkedIn has been curating these lists for eight years, there is technically a potential for 80 different words; however, only 30 have ever shown up. Indeed, less than three dozen words have been dominating LinkedIn profiles for almost a decade.
Want to see all of the lists side-by-side? I did!
LinkedIn Buzzwords from 2010 to 2018
|5||Dynamic||Track Record||Extensive Experience||Patient||Extensive experience|
|6||Proven track record||Motivated||Track Record||Expert||Responsible|
|8||Fast-paced||Problem Solving||Responsible||Driven||Track record|
|9||Problem solver||Communication Skills||Analytical||Innovative||Organizational|
The Only 30 LinkedIn Buzzwords Ever Published
Here are the 30 words that have appeared in LinkedIn’s Buzzwords article over the years, ranked by the number of times they’ve appeared.
|Rank||All Buzzwords Since 2010||How Many Times They Appeared in the Top 10|
|7||Proven Track Record||1|
You may or may not be surprised to learn that seven of the same words have been on the list for the last three years consecutively.
These words are not so bad, really. I’m honestly relieved that “Extensive Experience” seems to have dropped off the lists and that “Proven Track Record” is not on them at all!
What Should We Make of the Top 10 LinkedIn Buzzwords?
While there’s an idea out there that we should avoid these “overused” words, at some point we need to accept that some of the Top 10 LinkedIn Buzzwords have longevity for good reason. They are important and might not be going away.
Let’s take a look at the seven most popular words for the past three years. Many of these are useful. Your viewers on LinkedIn want to know where you “Specialize,” plus your specialties serve as keywords with SEO value. The same can be said about “Expert” – as long as you truly have significant knowledge of an area. “Experienced” might not be as valuable unless it comes with a number of years. “Leadership,” while perhaps overused, is an important skill and there aren’t a lot of other ways to say it. Hopefully you have a qualifier with “Leadership” like “Strategic Leadership,” “Team Leadership,” “Thought Leadership,” etc. And note the “Strategic Leadership” scores you two buzzwords in one! Speaking of which, “Strategic” is an unavoidable and essential word for anyone in a senior role.
“Creative” is the name of a department and of a deliverable, not just a nice adjective, so it makes sense that it would be on the list repeatedly. Just make sure that if you claim “Creative” as an adjective describing yourself that you back it up with evidence.
My least favorite repeating word is “Passionate.” If you have stated that you are “passionate” about something, consider that you might be able to convey your passion in another way, such as through examples and a tone of excitement.
The one other word I must address is “Successful,” which is a new arrival to the 2018 list. “Successful” is probably the word I most often delete from people’s resumes. If you get clear results from an action, clearly you are successful and you don’t have to use that word to tell us so. Saying you’re successful does not convince us that you are – it’s your results that speak to your success loud and clear.
So… which of the Top 10 LinkedIn Buzzwords appear in your LinkedIn profile? Is it time to reevaluate? Do you want to keep them or toss them? Or will you withhold judgment until January for the next round of buzzwords to come out?