Yahoo Finance just put up this very interesting analysis of over-used words on LinkedIn and Resumes. I thought it would be a great thing to share here. If you really want to stand out in a sea of LinkedIn contacts, make sure you don't use these words.
LinkedIn's Resume Advice: The Top Ten Buzzwords to Avoid
By Kashmir Hill
LinkedIn is taking a page from OkCupid's book. The free online dating site, which has recently gotten attention for being a place where you can meet the richly controversial and famous, regularly dives into its treasure trove of profiles to offer advice and insights on its OkTrends blog. By analyzing user behavior on the site, it has offered up analyses of how your race plays into romantic responses, the lies we tell potential mates and the best photo to use to attract attention.
While analyzing professional résumés is a little less sexy than analyzing romantic ones, LinkedIn is giving it a spin. The advice may prove to be more useful to you if you're seeking to land a job instead of a significant other.
LinkedIn has done a word analysis on the profiles of its 85 million users to come up with a list of the most overused words and expressions. Do you like to describe yourself as innovative and motivated? Then you may want to think about some synonyms to employ.
From the LinkedIn blog:
Top 10 overused buzzwords in LinkedIn Profiles in the USA — 2010:
1. Extensive experience
6. Proven track record
7. Team player
9. Problem solver
Once we hand our data over to hosting sites, they can do all kinds of cool, 'dynamic' stuff with it, from a global visualization of Facebook friendships to consumer spending trends (via Mint.com).
Of course, companies have to be careful when digging into their data not to violate the privacy of their users — a harsh lesson Netflix learned when it announced plans to open up its data to developers with a challenge to improve movie recommendation algorithms on the site. That 'innovative' idea led to a class-action lawsuit because the anonymized data was not so anonymous — a real 'problem solver' could figure out people's identities and thus the movies they had watched.
For the companies that can avoid privacy landmines, parsing databases and publicizing the findings can be a great way to attract attention from data-obsessed journalists and Web surfers. Of course, LinkedIn could take their data analysis a bit further. Rather than just telling us these words are overused, it'd be interesting to know if those with hackneyed job descriptions actually fail to find new employment when they seek it. I'll look out for that more impressive and 'results-oriented' data analysis from LinkedIn in the future.