Are you Guilty of Using Clichés on LinkedIn?

Whew! I came close to having one of the most overused words on my LinkedIn profile. A recent LinkedIn blog suggested a “spring cleaning.” Spruce up your key words, feature a new photo, add a few apps. But the one I glommed on to was to avoid the most overused terms, or clichés, as determined by LinkedIn’s research.

In the United States, these are:

  1. Extensive experience
  2. Innovative
  3. Motivated
  4. Results-oriented
  5. Dynamic
  6. Proven track record
  7. Team player
  8. Fast-paced
  9. Problem solver
  10. Entrepreneurial

How often have you used these terms in your resume or a pitch to a new client? I have over the years, I’m sorry to say. The thing is most of us really do think of ourselves in these terms. I am entrepreneurial – after all, I have my own business. I’m also a team player (although you’d probably have to ask others about that). So I decided to see if I could come up with some substitutes for these words that would carry the same punch.

My List of Underused Terms

Here goes:

  1. Extensive experience:  I’ve worked more years than I can count.
  2. Innovative: I tried something new once and it worked.
  3. Motivated: I always hustle because I need the paycheck.
  4. Results-oriented. I finished the assignment.
  5. Dynamic. I talk to everyone I meet.
  6. Proven track record. I was never fired from a job.
  7. Team player. I don’t like to be alone.
  8. Fast-paced. I always rush to be first on line at the movies.
  9. Problem solver. If I wait long enough the problem will go away.
  10. Entrepreneurial. I couldn’t find a job, so I started my own business.

OK, I just felt like having a little fun.

I wanted to write something for April Fool’s Day but I’m a little late, which defies the statement that I’m fast-paced. Oh, in case you’re wondering about the near miss in my profile, I use “deep experience.” Guess I better go find a substitute.





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  1. Thanks for the chuckle as well as for telling the truth about what’s behind all those terms. Yours are so much closer to the true meanings behind those terms…and yes, they are overused.

  2. Thanks for the laugh, Jeannette. Personally, I really hate the word innovative. Not because I don’t think people can be innovative, but because most people who claim to be are totally not. 🙂

  3. Dennis – when I started this blog I was serious about finding synonyms for the cliches. But then I realized that so often when people use these words to describe themselves it’s a lot of B.S. So that’s when I decided to have some fun with it.

  4. I really enjoyed this post and all the clever solutions you came up with. Your ideas let us see the “real” person which is so much more appealing and inviting.

    Other words I’m starting to dislike are “passionate” and “amazing”. Waaay overused!

    Hmmm…. I better get over to LinkedIn to see check on my wording….