Want a job? Don't tell them you're motivated

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Surely when you join the world's largest professional network, you want to sing your praises to potential new employers and contacts. It goes without saying you want to tell them you're motivated, creative, effective, responsible, and have a strong track record.

Actually, if you want to stand out, you don't want to say any of these things - because they have been named as the top five most overused cliches on LinkedIn. So how do you stand out?


With four in five British professionals on LinkedIn, it can be tricky to stand out. Most people focus on using the buzzwords they think will appeal the most, which is where they seem to be going wrong.

The site analysed the most overused words in LinkedIn profiles in 2012. In the UK 'motivated' beat last year's winner 'creative' into second place - as professionals were keen to highlight their ability to deliver in the current tough market .

The top 10 were:
1. Motivated
2. Creative
3. Track Record
4. Effective
5. Responsible
6. Innovative
7. Extensive Experience
8. Wide Range
9. Communication Skills
10. Analytical

What can you do?

So how can you use this information? A LinkedIn spokesperson claims that overusing these words can be the kiss of death for your profile. He says: ""Every day potential business partners, clients and employers are searching for professionals on the Web. If you want opportunity to come knocking, you've got to make your LinkedIn Profile stand out from the pack. Avoiding overused buzzwords can help you do this."

However, at the same time presumably you still want to highlight your strengths: you don't want to come across as the only unmotivated and uncreative person on the networking site.
The experts at LinkedIn have a five point plan for standing out.

1. Do a LinkedIn Advanced People Search for people who live in your area and have the same job title as you. We're often harsher critics of other people's profiles than we are of our own. By looking at your peers' LinkedIn Profiles, you'll get a better sense of what you like and don't like about each of them.

2. Ditch the basics. If you are applying for a job, the fact that you are organised and responsible is a given: businesses don't employ disorganised irresponsible people in professional roles. Save the space for words that set you apart.

3. When you add relevant LinkedIn Skills and Expertise to your profile, your first-degree connections can endorse you for those specific skills. If you have a former boss or colleague explaining that you're creative and motivated, then it's far better than you simply claiming it yourself.

4. Prove it. Integrate numbers and links in your profile which illustrate what you're trying to claim. If you have effectively improved sales - show it with figures, if you created a brilliant piece of work - link to the work.

5. Once you have a profile, make it work for you. You need to stay active on the network to show your commitment. Join LinkedIn Groups that are relevant to your profession and role, follow companies that you're interested in working with, and join the debate. You can also check out the words they are using - and the terms used in the profiles of their top executives - to discover the phrases that will mean something to them if they see it in your profile.

But what do you think? What do you do to stand out? Let us know in the comments.

LinkedIn buzzwords across the world.
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