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Recently, the top 10 most overused words on LinkedIn profiles were announced. And I'm not shocked to see that all 10 words break the basic rule of personal branding: stay objective.


Opinions Of Your Skills Don’t Belong On LinkedIn

The 10 most overused words on LinkedIn are subjective. Meaning that if you use them, you are stating an opinion of yourself. Take a look:

  1. Specialize
  2. Experienced
  3. Skilled
  4. Leadership
  5. Passionate
  6. Expert
  7. Motivated
  8. Creative
  9. Strategic
  10. Focused

The problem with using these words is that, while you think it’s okay to talk about yourself in this way, the reader of your profile (aka a recruiter or hiring manager) gets the mistaken impression that you think you are “all that and a bag of chips.”

Simple Test To Fix Your Profile

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The solution is to test your profile and then take out any words that aren’t fact. Here’s how you test it: simply read each sentence on your profile and then ask yourself, “Says who?” If you can’t validate it within the sentence you are using it in, then it needs to go. I used all 10 of the words on LinkedIn’s list below to show you examples of how they get misused.

  • I am a strategic, motivated professional.
  • I am creative and experienced.
  • I have great leadership skills.
  • I am a skilled expert in my field.
  • I know how to specialize to meet the needs of my job.
  • I am a focused leader who's passionate about my industry.

For all of the above, you can’t help but think when you read them, “Geez. Don’t you think a lot of yourself!” Or, as I mentioned above, the immediate reaction becomes, “Really? Says who?”

Solution: List Accomplishments

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Once you edit your profile, go back through and insert accomplishments that prove what you were trying to say about yourself. These would be examples of better fits:

  • I have a 10-year track record of exceeding my employer’s performance review standards.
  • I have created 20+ projects in X, resulting in $1M in new revenues.
  • I have completed more than 100 business analysis projects that have saved my employers $250K+ in the last 2 years.
  • I have managed teams of 2-50 through 15+ complete project lifecycles.
  • I have worked with over 400 customers to solve implementation issues that reduced client service calls by 50%.

Final Tip: Quantify To Qualify

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Notice all of the above bullet points use numbers, percentages, and statistics to prove the skill. This is called quantifying your accomplishments, and it is the most compelling way to validate your experience. When it comes to LinkedIn, facts are always better than fiction!

Need more help optimizing your LinkedIn profile?

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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