Top 10 LinkedIn clichés – and how to avoid them

If you think your LinkedIn profile is full of all the hot keywords potential employers want to hear, you may need to think again.

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The daddy of business social networking has released a list of the top 10 most commonly used words and phrases in professional profiles of users based in the UK, and warned that many appear "empty" to people checking out your profile.

"We have the opportunity to uncover interesting workplace trends given the high volume of people with profiles on LinkedIn," said DJ Patil, LinkedIn’s chief data scientist. "In this case, we wanted to reveal insights that help professionals make better choices about how to position themselves online whether they are looking for a job or not."

The top 10 is follows:

1. Motivated
2. Extensive experience
3. Innovative
4. Proven track record
5. Dynamic
6. Team player
7. Proactive
8. Entrepreneurial
9. Skill set
10. Problem solver

"Phrases like ‘extensive experience’ and ‘proven track record’ can appear empty to a potential employer and may do more harm than good when you include them in your profile or resume," said Katie Ledger, BrandYou Board member.

BrandYou is a LinkedIn campaign launched in November 2010 to highlight the increasing importance of personal brand management at all stages of an individual’s career. The BrandYou Board brings together a selection of Europe’s leading marketing experts covering all aspects of brand management, from research and analysis to brand development and measurement, the organisation says.

If your profile contains a fair few of those clichés, it’s time to rethink your LinkedIn strategy, Ledger said. "If you’re using any of these ten terms, wipe them out. Instead, note that you have eight to ten years of experience or that you increased sales by 300%. Include meaningful phrases that apply specifically to highlights you’ve achieved in your career."

"Remember, potential employers and collaborators care more about what you have actually done than what may appear on your business card," she added.

Other tips to boost the effectiveness of your profile include adding all the roles you’ve had; LinkedIn claims you are 12 times more likely to be viewed for potential opportunities if you have more than one position listed on your profile. Add a picture, too; people never forget a face.

LinkedIn also recommends that you customise your profile URL, so it appears higher up Google’s rankings.

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