As 2013 comes to a close, we revisit our analysis of overused buzzwords in members’ profiles for the fourth year in a row. Does ‘creative’ once again dominate as it has for the past two years? Or will we see some surprising changes?
Since we last did this study, LinkedIn’s member base grew from 187 million to more than 259 million members worldwide. Drawing from English-language LinkedIn profiles around the globe, here’s what we found: this year, ‘responsible’ landed solidly at number one. It was used more than twice as often as the number two buzzword, ‘strategic’. In addition, of the top buzzwords from 2012 only four make the list in 2013: ‘creative’, ‘responsible’, ‘effective’, ‘analytical’. Some words from last year that didn’t make the cut this year are: ‘experimental’, ‘motivated’, ‘multinational’, ‘specialized’.
With these English-language profiles worldwide, we also looked at profiles in a selection of countries*. Surprisingly, most of the countries had the same top three buzzwords, in the same order: ‘responsible’, ‘strategic’, ‘effective’.
Despite the similarities, we found some notable outliers: ‘sustainable’ was in top ten in only the Netherlands; ‘enthusiastic’ only in Great Britain. Geographical neighbors Australia and New Zealand were the only countries to feature ‘passionate’ in their respective top ten lists.
The buzzword ‘patient’ ranks number five worldwide, but it was featured in the top ten for only the United States in the country breakout. So how did it make the top ten around the globe? Looking at the numbers, we found that US profiles alone made up 50% of the usage of the word.
How will you stand out from other professionals in 2014? Your LinkedIn profile is your professional brand, so make it count. Demonstrate your skills and experience by providing examples of your talent rather than using buzzwords. Here are some tips to get you started.
*We looked at 14 countries and regions including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United States
**We followed the methodologies of previous years, but only focused on English-language profiles; we did not translate any profiles from foreign languages to English. We removed stop words (e.g. the, between, and) and nouns (e.g. project, work, management), and filtered to just adjectives. We ranked these adjectives by word count and picked the top ten for each country, and top ten aggregated worldwide.