Are You Guilty of Using LinkedIn’s Top 10 Overused BuzzWords?

LinkedIn's Top 10 Overused Buzzwords 2012

Are you creative and effective?

When I read that LinkedIn had published the Top 10 Overused Buzzwords Words in 2012, I quickly went to my LinkedIn profile.

Uh, oh. I’m guilty of using using Responsible, but only once, so may I be excused? LinkedIn breaks out the words globally and in the U.S.

The top three words in 2011 topped the list this year, too: Creative, Organizational and Effective.

Defining the Words

I noticed, however, that LinkedIn once again didn’t provide any definitions for these words, which could be helpful in finding substitutes for your profile.

I hope that you will find my definitions useful for LinkedIn’s Top 10 in the U.S for 2012:

  1. Creative. I got a gold star for a drawing I did in kindergarten.
  2. Organizational. I throw everything in the bottom drawer every night so I have a clean desk.
  3. Effective. I get things done in due time.
  4. Motivated. I always hustle because I need the paycheck.
  5. Extensive Experience. I’ve had more jobs than I can count.
  6. Track Record. I was never fired from a job.
  7. Innovative. I tried something new once and it worked.
  8. Responsible. No one else wanted to do it.
  9. Analytical. I can always find someone to figure the thing out.
  10. Problem solving. If I wait long enough the problem will go away.

OK, you’ve guessed that I just wanted to have a little fun. But it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at your profile, and your resume, too. Companies can only hire so many creative, organizational and effective people.

If you want to stand out on LinkedIn, you’ll need to find other words that help distinguish you from the pack.

Leave a Reply


  1. You made me laugh, Jeannette.

    Seems to me Linkedin forget some buzzwords that are even worse and you will find on most Linkedin profiles i.e. leader and expert.

    The worst is when people just out of school calls themselves experts and leaders. They even post discussions claiming to know everything there is to know about say, sales. One guy straight out of university even wrote he had a lot to teach Richard Branson:-)

    • Catarina — Glad I gave you a chuckle. I agree with your comment about people who call themselves experts. Even the social media gurus aren’t experts because social media is changing so rapidly that no one can keep up with everything. Love the Richard Branson example!

  2. Thanks for the kick in the pants to check it Jeannette. Well I found one issue, in the past as a sales manager, I stated, “training responsibility for sales people and any staff interested in personal development.” I’m going to leave it for now.

    What I DO see is that many of my over 35 recommendations use a few of these words but hey – they are not in my profile.

    And there is that expression, “people believe more about what other people say of you than what you say about yourself.”

    Thanks Jeannette.

    • Patricia — I’m not sure that using some of the most used words is all bad. It’s good PR for LinkedIn because so many people write about them. But it is a good reminder to try to avoid the words that have become cliches like “proven track record.”

  3. This was very interesting to me and I was very entertained. I love the humor. I am also guilty of using these words in my profile and will be looking to make a few revisions… LOL. Thanks for the heads up. Now I need to start working on a profile revision. 🙂

    • Susan — I’m glad you had a chuckle. It’s important to avoid cliches, but words become cliches sometimes because they seem to be just right. We do need to avoid “proven track record” and “effective,” though. Another over used word I dislike is “quality.” It’s meaningless — you’ve got to state exactly how that was achieved, i.e., “Our widget starts on the first click of the button 100% of the time.” Not we make quality widgets. I rant.

  4. Like others, I got a hearty chuckle from this post. Isn’t it true how individuals market themselves with a twist and turn of vocabulary! Agree with you and Catarina about the word “expert” being terribly misleading in social media as well as other fields. All that said, you’ve given us a stellar suggestion to check out our Linked In semantics! Thanks!