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'Responsible' and 'strategic' most overused words in 2013 on LinkedIn profiles

MONTREAL - In this case, being responsible is overrated.

It's the No. 1 most overused buzzword on LinkedIn profiles in Canada, and globally, in 2013.

Professional networking site LinkedIn said its annual study also puts "strategic," "effective" and "creative" on this year's Top 10 list of overused words on business profiles.

"Everyone is still using these words and they're not evil in and of themselves," said Danielle Restivo, head of global programs at LinkedIn in London, Ont.

"But the more you can talk about your accomplishments, rather than just falling back on these words, that's going to make you successful."

She suggests employees add presentations or images of projects and videos they have worked on to develop their profiles. They also shouldn't be shy about saying when they have met or exceeded sales quotas or brought in new clients, she added.

"It would be more effective,'" said Restivo, who paused to laugh at her use of the word, "if you do have a concrete example."

Otherwise, she said, you end up with a profile of empty words that doesn't fully describe you as an employee.

The overused word "responsible" has been in the Top 10 before and Restivo said professionals may view it as a way to describe that they are trustworthy and able to take on a greater workload.

A data analytics team at LinkedIn, which describes itself as the world's largest professional network with more than 259 million members, has done an annual study of the most common adjectives in members' profiles since 2010.

The word "creative" was the top buzzword in 2011 and 2012 both globally and nationally, but finished No. 4 this year on Canadian LinkedIn profiles.

Restivo said "strategic" and "effective," which finished second and third, are vague without examples.

No. 5 on the list was "organizational" and No. 6 was "expert," which Restivo cautioned against using as it's "a tough claim to make."

Also on the list of overused words were: "positive," "innovative," "dynamic" and "analytical."

The Canadian Press

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