The 10 most overused words in LinkedIn profiles

An analysis reveals the most common adjectives employed by the 187 million members of the social network. How many of these words are in your profile?


Millions of people on LinkedIn share a common trait: creativity.

Or so they say.

For the second consecutive year, “creative” earned the dubious title of the most overused buzzword in LinkedIn profiles. In fact, the top three buzzwords remained unchanged from last year: “creative,” “organizational,” and “effective.”

However, there are some changes among this year’s top 10. In a blog post this morning, LinkedIn Senior Data Scientist Simla Ceyhan said:

“More members this year described themselves as ‘responsible’ and ‘analytical,’ which made an appearance on our ranking for the first time. As a result, ‘dynamic’ and ‘communication skills’ got knocked off the list. ‘Motivated’ is now ranked higher than ‘extensive experience,’ which was the top buzzword in 2010.”

To determine the rankings, LinkedIn collects the adjectives found in the summary section of users’ public profiles, removing overused nouns and certain irrelevant words. It then sorts them by frequency and country.

This year, the social network’s member base swelled to 187 million globally from 135 million in 2011.

The analysis serves as a reminder for LinkedIn users to be mindful of the language they use in the profiles.

“Your LinkedIn profile is an opportunity to define your professional identity,” said Ceyhan in her blog post. “Set yourself apart in the new year by wiping your profile clean of buzzwords!”

The analysis includes non-English profiles after they are translated. As a result, LinkedIn broke out each buzzword by its frequency in various nations:

Analytical: Switzerland

Creative: Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, U.S.

Effective: India

Experimental: Brazil

Motivated: Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom

Multinational: Egypt, Indonesia

Responsible: France, Italy

Specialized: Spain

In October, LinkedIn shared a list of ways for its users to standout on the social network. Read more about those tips: 4 secrets to standing out on LinkedIn.

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