Termed as buzzwords, LinkedIn believes that usage of these words could harm members’ prospects for career and economic opportunity. As one of the largest member markets for LinkedIn in the Mena region, more than two million member profiles from the UAE were studied in 2015 to identify the buzzwords among the nation’s professionals.
I know there are a lot of people who think the traditional résumé is dead, but it’s not gone yet and there are still a lot of recruiters and hiring managers who prefer it to LinkedIn profiles, video clips, or whatever else people are trying to use these days.
The survey found that one in six (17 percent) of hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less, on average, reviewing resumes. And a majority of them (68 percent) spend less than two minutes.
This raises a good question: Why is so little time spent on what is undoubtedly a very important activity?
Part of it is the nature of the work, with recruiters and hiring managers handling large volumes of resumes from large numbers of candidates, many who have no good reason to be applying for the job in question. It’s a numbers game, and the numbers of resumes flowing into any hiring professional can be mind-boggling.
Worst resume terms
- Best of breed: 38 percent;
- Go-getter: 27 percent
- Think outside the box: 26 percent;
- Synergy: 22 percent;
- Go-to person: 22 percent;
- Thought leadership: 16 percent;
- Value add: 16 percent;
- Results-driven: 16 percent;
- Team player: 15 percent;
- Bottom-line: 14 percent;
- Hard worker: 13 percent;
- Strategic thinker: 12 percent;
- Dynamic: 12 percent;
- Self-motivated: 12 percent;
- Detail-oriented: 11 percent;
- Proactively: 11 percent;
- Track record: 10 percent.
Here are terms employers say they would like to see on a resume:
- Achieved: 52 percent;
- Improved: 48 percent;
- Trained/Mentored: 47 percent;
- Managed: 44 percent;
- Created: 43 percent;
- Resolved: 40 percent;
- Volunteered: 35 percent;
- Influenced: 29 percent;
- Increased/Decreased: 28 percent;
- Ideas: 27 percent;
- Negotiated: 25 percent;
- Launched: 24 percent;
- Revenue/Profits: 23 percent;
- Under budget: 16 percent;
- Won: 13 percent
The top 10 LinkedIn Buzzwords in the UAE for this year are:
1. Organization 6. Creative
2. Motivated 7. Strategic
3. Dynamic 8. Successful
4. Leadership 9. Extensive Experience
5. Track Record 10. Dedicated
LinkedIn has also identified the ten most overused buzzwords on the millions of LinkedIn Company Pages. The list shows businesses and brands that by using buzzwords, they are failing to differentiate themselves from their competitors and peers, and this could be working against their talent and customer acquisition efforts.
Nada Enan, Senior Manager Marketing & PR, LinkedIn Mena, said: “Curating a LinkedIn profile should receive as much attention to detail and quality as creating one’s professional resumé. Buzzwords actually make our member profiles stand out for their lack of creativity and their uniformity. LinkedIn has created the opportunities for our members to demonstrate their creativity, passion or successes by uploading images, documents, and links so that the profile is made richer and brought to life. We hope that our members in the UAE take this opportunity to set their professional profiles in order in 2016.”
Here are some LinkedIn lessons for those looking to perfect their profile:
1. Stand out from the crowd – Your summary is the first thing people look at after your profile picture. You may know you are capable of demonstrating ‘leadership’ with a ‘great track record’ but too many buzzwords make it hard for your profile to stand out. Use examples of your experience, focus on how you have demonstrated leadership with specific examples and highlight those great results with real numbers.
2. A picture is worth a thousand words: Instead of saying you are ‘creative’, why not show people by including presentations, design work and projects you take pride in? Remember, you’ve only got five to ten seconds to impress.
3. Share views and news: So you have ‘extensive experience and great communication skills’? Tell the world by publishing a post on LinkedIn. By offering your opinions on industry matters, you are positioning yourself as a thought leader and sharing your knowledge.
4. Get to know people like you: If you want to show you are ‘motivated’ about succeeding in your industry, join a group. Share your thoughts on news or articles to show you care about the sector and widen your network. Members who are active in groups get 15x more profile views than members who don’t take part.
5. Recommend a friend: If you think someone’s ‘exceptional’, why not say it? Spend time writing meaningful recommendations using specific examples. Not only does this show you really know them, it also means they are more likely to return the favour. A couple of glowing recommendations are worth a hundred buzzwords.