Saturday, December 14, 2013

Don’t be Responsible!

At least not on LinkedIn. It’s one of 2013’s “most overused buzzwords.” When you describe yourself as “responsible” (among other things), the response of a prospective employer is likely to be glazed eyes, according to LinkedIn’s blog post here:

“OMG!” you say. “I’ve used this in my LinkedIn profile!” Okay, don’t worry too hard about it. LinkedIn compiles a list of overused buzzwords at the end of every year. It’s an attention getter, a bit of filler-fluff that even Time magazine picks up as soft-core “news.” (Link here: And guess what—it’s a great marketing strategy for LinkedIn, which gets free publicity for its brand.

So two take-aways:
  • First, it is possible to use the same word as everybody else, until it becomes meaningless. Write fresh copy. You’re an English major, for pity’s sake—you’re marketing yourself as being able to do creative, fresh things with language.
  • Second, notice how LinkedIn has gotten itself free publicity in very widely-read, prestigious sources. That’s the power of networking: produce something interesting and memorable, and people will like you for your wit and your savvy contribution. (And if you’re a person, rather than a company, they may hire you, or recommend you for hiring to a colleague.)

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