For the third year in a row, the top ten most overused words on LinkedIn profiles have been announced. And, for the third year in a row, I'm not shocked to see all ten words break the basic rule of personal branding: stay objective.
Opinions Of Your Skills Don't Belong On LinkedIn
The ten words, as seen on this infographic, are subjective. Meaning, if you use them, you are stating an opinion of yourself. Take a look:
- Extensive Experience
- Track record
- Problem solving
The problem with using these words is, while you think it's okay to talk about yourself in this way, the reader of your profile gets the mistaken impression that you think you are, "all that and a bag of chips."
Simple Test To Fix Your Profile
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?" to each one. If you can't validate it within the sentence you are using it in, then it needs to go.
I used all ten of the words on LinkedIn's list below to show you examples of how they get misused.
- I am an effective, motivated professional.
- I am creative with extensive experience.
- I have great analytical and organizational skills.
- I am responsible and innovative.
- I have a track record of problem solving.
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
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 $_M in new revenues.
- I have completed more than 100 business analysis projects that have saved my employers $__+ 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
Notice all of the above use numbers, percentages and statistics to prove the skill. This is the most compelling way to validate your experience. When it comes to LinkedIn, facts are always better than fiction!
Thanks to J. T. O'Donnell / Careerealism
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