Buzzwords 2011: Who's been "creative" and "effective" this year?

December 13, 2011

With the New Year right around the corner, the LinkedIn team thought it would be a great time to refresh one of our most popular analyses from last year overused professional buzzwords! Maybe during the last year some of our members scrubbed their profiles of buzzwords and more uniquely described themselves? Or maybe there has been a huge growth in the number of innovative, motivated, entrepreneurial team players who are results-oriented and thrive in fast-paced environments. To the data!

We took a look at the more than 135 million professional profiles on our site and here are the top 10 buzzwords for the United States:

This year's top buzzword in the U.S. is "creative". What differences do we see from last year? We had a couple of methodological changes [1], and setting those aside, we see that "creative", "effective", "communication skills" and "strategic planning" have appeared on the list this year. Comparing words that could make it on both this year's and last year's list, we can see that last year's top buzzword "extensive experience" still makes it to top three. "Motivated" is now ranked higher than "innovative" and words such as "results oriented", "fast paced", "entrepreneurial" are off the list.

Given the large international representation of our members, here are the number one buzzwords for a selection of countries:

Creative: Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, UK, US

Multinational: Brazil

Dynamic: France

Effective: India

Problem solving: Italy

Motivated: Ireland

Managerial: Spain

Track record: Singapore

So if you're a LinkedIn member in Germany, France or Italy, you might be a creative, dynamic problem solver!

[1] Methodological details: This year, we included non-English profiles in the analysis after translating them. We aggregated the adjectives in the summary section of our member's public profiles and removed some overused nouns (e.g., "mobile") and other irrelevant words. From that list we sorted words by frequency and took the top 10 for each country. The main difference from last year is that we took more of an agnostic approach and let the adjectives sort themselves out, vs. starting with a list of 40 predefined buzzwords and ranking them.