Time to break out the thesaurus. LinkedIn today released its 2018 Top 10 Buzzwords in the U.S. Two of them -- "leadership" and "strategic" -- overlap with the 14 words that recruiters and I last month suggested avoiding on your LinkedIn profile.
The 10 buzzwords that LinkedIn says are professional profile buzzkills: specialized, experienced, leadership, skilled, passionate, expert, motivated, creative, strategic and successful.
LinkedIn points out -- in its blog post -- that touting your career is about storytelling. It's what I've said all along, and it comes up all the time when talking with clients about the LinkedIn makeovers they've hired me to do.
The place on LinkedIn to tell your story is in the summary, which is that space below your name, title and location. Some people leave this place blank; others re-purpose copy from their resume or experience section.
Don't do this! The summary is important, because it is the narrative of who you are and the career you have built.
It's not about how you have "aligned" something or "partnered" -- two more no-no words, in my opinion -- with someone. It's not about saying you're "unique," a word on my "nope" list, but showing how you stand out.
People who read my LinkedIn summary understand that I'm a lifelong storyteller, and many remember the tale of how I got my first (and only) typewriter in kindergarten:
"While being a journalist prepared Amy for her role as a communications and public relations professional, her love of sharing knowledge and stories to inform a broader audience is a life-long endeavor. In kindergarten, she received a typewriter for Christmas and never looked back. By high school, she was writing for the teen section of the Dayton Daily News and winning awards on her high school debate team. Her college internships included the AP's Paris bureau."
I don't have to say I'm passionate about writing and sharing stories, because I've illustrated that passion.
Speaking of illustrating, it's not all about words, says LinkedIn. So true. Add links to your work. Maybe you were quoted in an article or you wrote an article or you produced a company video or you're in that company video. Post links that show your work and let it speak for itself. You can post links to the bottom of your summary or in the corresponding job entries in your experience section.
Lastly, LinkedIn says recruiters want to know more about you than your day job. You need to let people know where you volunteer and what else you do in your free time, which in my case includes a blog that I write and fitness classes that I teach -- just to give you an idea. Maybe you are training for your first marathon, learning a second language or polishing your stand-up comedy routine.
Bottom line: There's more to your LinkedIn profile than a bunch of "strategic" words. And there's more to you than your work. There are stories, and stories make you memorable.