Light bulbThis year’s most popular stories on LinkedIn reflect a common theme: self-improvement.

Professionals gobbled up advice on how to be more efficientmore productive, and, yes, even more “remarkable” in the eyes of their bosses. The self-help craze reflects, on some level, the realities of the economy. With the unemployment rate at 7.7%, and the economic recovery uncertain, businesspeople are looking for any edge they can find in the workplace.

The top stories included plenty of career lessons. Harvard Business Review’s Tony Schwartz reminded office workers everywhere to stop living in the “gray zone” – his term for multitasking – if they want to be more effective at work. Inc.’s Jeff Haden revealed that the best employees defy job descriptions, constantly re-work processes and show the quirky sides of their personality. Meanwhile, Business Insider let us all in on a secret: Recruiters spend, on average, just six seconds looking at our resumes.

The 12 Most Popular Stories of the Year

  1. The 8 Qualities of Remarkable Employees (Inc.)
  2. What Successful People Do in the First Hour of Their Work Day (Fast Company)
  3. Top Executive Recruiters Agree: There Are Only Three Key Job Interview Questions (Forbes)
  4. The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time (Harvard Business Review)
  5. What Recruiters Look at During the 6 Seconds They Spend on Your Resume (Business Insider)
  6. Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards (DS News)
  7. Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs (The New York Times)
  8. The Must-Have Job Skills of 2013 (The Wall Street Journal)
  9. How Pinterest Is Becoming the Next Big Thing in Social Media (Entrepreneur)
  10. Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Counteroffer (U.S. News & World Report, via Yahoo News)
  11. How Great Leaders Inspire Action (TED)
  12. New Job Seekers Getting Asked Facebook Passwords (AP, via Yahoo Finance)

Note: List ranked by share volume, screened to prevent multiple appearances by a single publisher or writer.

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