Are you repelling opportunities with lame buzzwords?

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For the HR professional, LinkedIn is an essential tool – it’s just the way business is done. From identifying candidates, to being a candidate yourself, it’s paramount that you’re using the right lingo. Yet chances are you’re using words that were edgy in 2005.

“Creative”, “Effective” and “Motivated” are among Australia’s most overused profile buzzwords according to the 2012 audit. While these words may be accurate, it pays to think outside the box.

Career coach and director at Nourish Coaching, Sally-Anne Blanshard, said that for professionals wanting to stand out, it’s important to have a profile and a summary that is genuine and represents your skills, strengths and aspirations. “Millions of professionals say they're 'creative,' so set yourself apart by making reference to specific projects or achievements. You can also cross-reference your recommendations and testimonials with what you state you are good at, so there is a common theme when people are checking out your profile,” Blanshard said.

The top 10 buzzwords that appear most in Aussie profiles are:
 

  1. Creative
  2. Effective
  3. Motivated
  4. Extensive experience
  5. Track record
  6. Innovative
  7. Responsible
  8. Analytical
  9. Communication skills
  10. Positive

If your LinkedIn profile has been bitten by the buzzword bug, there are a few ways to start afresh for 2013:

Check out the competition
 

  • Run a LinkedIn Advanced People Search for people who live in your area and have the same job title as you. We’re often harsher critics of other people’s profiles than we are of our own. By looking at your peers’ LinkedIn profiles, you’ll get a better sense of what you like and don’t like about each of them. Make sure you incorporate that feedback into your own profile.

Become a magnet for endorsements
 

  • When you add relevant LinkedIn Skills and expertise to your profile, your first-degree connections can endorse you for those specific skills. You can add up to 50 relevant skills and areas of expertise (like ballet, iPhone and global business development) to your profile.

Make heads turn with a killer professional headline
 

  • Your professional headline is one of the first things people see in LinkedIn search results. By default, your professional headline is based on the title you entered for your most recent position, but you can edit it. Think of your professional headline just like the headline of a news article. You want to draw people in and entice them (whether they are potential hiring managers, business partners or clients), so they click through to read the whole story – in this case, your complete LinkedIn Profile.

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