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Being responsible, creative and motivated means you aren’t

Your LinkedIn profile is not a beautiful or unique snowflake

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If you try to stand out from the crowd by describing yourself as “creative”, “motivated” or “responsible”, you’re actually making yourself look like you lack creativity and aren’t motivated enough to take responsibility for your career by penning a cliché-free LinkedIn Profile.

We make that assertion on the basis that LinkedIn’s annual list of buzzwords in its members’ profiles includes those three terms among the top eight words that members use to describe themselves.

First conducted two years ago, this year’s effort saw the seriously-social network comb through profiles penned by over 187 million members to find the most-used words. Entries in languages other than English were translated and the whole lot poured into a big data melting pot that spat out the following eight terms as the most-used:

  • Creative
  • Motivated
  • Multinational
  • Responsible
  • Experimental
  • Effective
  • Specialized
  • Analytical

LinkedIn argues that using those words in your profile makes you stand out from the crowd in the worst possible way – as someone who can’t articulate your values in anything other than words devalued by overuse, or lacking qualities that can be accurately described without resorting to blandishments.

There’s at least one piece of evidence out there to suggest employers already see through these words, as those of you who recall our story from early this year about a job ad for ‘mediocre developers’ may recall. ®

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