Don't be a cliche; avoid these overused LinkedIn buzzwords in your profile.

Strategic word placement is important not only for your resume, but for your LinkedIn profile, as well. However, relevant keywords are different from overused buzzwords. You want to use relevant LinkedIn job-search keywords because it attracts recruiters to your profile — but overused professional buzzwords might turn them away as well.

Here are the most-used LinkedIn buzzwords for 2018:

  1. Passionate

  2. Motivated

  3. Creative

  4. Expert

  5. Strategic

  6. Skilled

  7. Focused

  8. Guru

  9. Experienced

  10. Ninja

These are all good traits to have — but they're not good traits to use as keywords for a LinkedIn profile.

Use buzzwords sparingly

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, don't use sentences with only buzzwords — these fall flat. For example, consider these two power statements that might be used for a LinkedIn profile summary:

A motivated and passionate administrative guru experienced in creative and strategic contributions.


Hardworking and computer-savvy administrative assistant with 10 years of experience supporting artistic projects for diverse clients.

The first statement uses six of the 10 LinkedIn buzzwords — and doesn't sound good. The second one, though, does a much better job of painting the job seeker within the context of skills and experience without going overboard on fluff.

Show, don't tell

Experienced and effective writers know that showing is stronger than telling. If you simply state an attribute using buzzwords without illustrating the specifics, you're just telling. But if you give a specific example, figure, or highlight, you're showing.

For example, “10 years of experience in the tech field” is stronger than simply stating “experienced” because you're letting the reader see what your experience looks like. In most cases, stating that you “planned a campaign resulting in $20K new revenue” is stronger than just saying you're “strategic.”

Here's another example of the ambiguity of LinkedIn job search keywords: Do you think a hiring manager would rather read that you're an “expert,” or that you have a degree from Stanford, plus five years' experience with a Fortune 5000 company?

Anyone can say they're an expert. Think about your unique selling points — how you embody a certain buzzword. Why are you an expert? What makes you different from everyone else? Figure that out and then flaunt it.

And while you might consider yourself “passionate” — which is a good thing — don't come right out and say so. Instead, find ways to infuse your words with your passion (“I got a dual degree in computer science and business because I'm a complete nerd about digital marketing”). Hiring managers like people who are passionate about what they do … but they might skip over people who use the same keywords for a LinkedIn profile as everyone else.

Sometimes, though, it's actually better to tell the reader about your experience. Maybe you don't have 10 years of experience … you only have two. Yet, you can elaborate on something else — perhaps by telling a story about how you quickly moved up the ladder, demonstrating your self-motivation — and conceal your lack of experience while still showcasing your skills and abilities.

Overall, use your best judgment when it comes to showing versus telling, but err on the side of showing. It's important to be mindful of the words you're using, and above all, how you're using them to ensure that you get the greatest impact possible from your LinkedIn profile.

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