Recruiting and hiring professionals often chastise job seekers for using weak, meaningless buzzwords on their resumes and social profiles – but maybe they should get their own houses in order before they start wagging their fingers at others.
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By analyzing millions of recruiter and company pages on the website, LinkedIn came up with lists of the ten most common buzzwords deployed by recruiters and employers:
The 10 Most Overused Buzzwords on Recruiters' LinkedIn Profiles:
The 10 Most Overused Buzzwords on LinkedIn Company Pages:
It's easy to see why these words are so common. They communicate ideas that are important to a number of industries. What recruiter doesn't want to be seen as "successful"? What organization would hide its "innovative" activities?
However, when job seekers are bombarded by the same words over and over again no matter which organization or employer they're dealing with, distinctions start to blur. Every employer and recruiter looks the same as all the rest. There's nothing to excite the candidate about working with you or your company in particular.
The words themselves also start to lose meaning. When practically every organization describes its people as "experts," you start to wonder if being an expert is really all that important. If everyone and their mother has a "leading" "vision," is such vision really all that special?
Show, Don't Tell
So, how do you avoid falling into the buzzword trap? How do you use language that really sets you and/or your company apart from the competition? According to LinkedIn, it all comes down to the old creative writing adage, "Show, don't tell."
Instead of describing your organization as "innovative," share a specific story that illustrates the organization's innovative work. Instead of simply telling people you're a "successful" recruiter, regale them with tales of your previous placements.