Are You Guilty Of Buzzword Blah?

It’s that time of year again, when LinkedIn serves up its annual list of the 10 most over-used words on its profiles. So without further ado (drum roll please), here’s what the UK’s users are guilty of:

  1. Specialised
  2. Leadership
  3. Experienced
  4. Passionate
  5. Strategic
  6. Excellent
  7. Focused
  8. Creative
  9. Enthusiastic
  10. Successful

Having read a lot of LinkedIn summaries recently (I check out the profiles of people attending my workshops to see who’s shooting their personal brand in the foot) I can attest that those are certainly popular.<

Here’s my advice…

None of this is to say you’re entirely banned from using those words for your online profile, but I have two suggestions to avoid sounding entirely blah:

1. Add some meat to the bones

Just saying you’re ‘enthusiastic’ doesn’t really cut the mustard. But if you add some detail – going on to explain what makes you enthusiastic, or what happens when that enthusiasm kicks in, or how that enthusiasm has helped you deliver – then it can become interesting.

2. Say it another way

Finding an alternative way to express those buzzwords can work well. For instance, instead of saying you’re ‘passionate’ about something, why not say ‘I get the biggest kick from…’ or ‘If there’s one thing that gets me fired up it’s…’ or ‘I’d go to the ends of the earth for…’

The wording still needs to sound like you, but unless you’re peppering every conversation with the same word every time, you’ll find you use different expressions as a matter of course – so listen out for them.

Let me know what buzzwords you’re guilty of using – and what you’re going to do to avoid the blah.  Or is there a word you consider over-used that’s not made the list? There’s a comment box right below!

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