End adjective abuse now: LinkedIn’s most overused buzzwords

I realise I am 20 years out of date on this, but I absolutely cannot stand CVs which start with a third-person descriptive paragraph along the lines of “Amy Wilson is a go-getting can-do no-nonsense passionate creative with more than a decade of experience writing sentences.” What on earth is the point of it if you write it yourself and who, apart from nutters, refers to themselves in the third person?

Business networking site LinkedIn this week published its list of the most overused buzzwords and phrases on profiles in 2014. The top ten worst offenders were: motivated, passionate, creative, driven, extensive experience, responsible, strategic, track record, organisational and expert.

Hopefully that list reads like nails down a blackboard to you too.

LinkedIn’s brand expert suggests, very sensibly, that instead of these hackneyed words, you post examples of your work which show you to be creative, passionate, motivated and effective. (However she also suggests describing yourself in a ‘headline’ such as: Mary Smith: Solving complex technical problems through code – which would make me immediately file your CV in the digital bin, but that’s my third-person prejudice again.)

What does all this have to do with content marketing? It shows the importance of language that is clear, sincere and meaningful. Real-world examples of your product or service in use, recommendations from independent voices and straightforward descriptions of what you do, what it costs and where to find it, are a hundred times more valuable to your website’s users than flowery prose, lengthy videos with sweeping soundtracks or image galleries with no captions.

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