Phrases long considered taboo on resumes (like “self-motivated team player”) are making their way back into LinkedIn Profiles – and the outcome isn’t good.
These mundane phrases only make it more difficult foremployers to see your ROI as a candidate! They have to look past these overused terms to even FIND your unique value proposition.
With a little ingenuity, however, you can pull the lackluster phrases out of your Profile and replace them with powerful writing attuned to your personal style and energy.
Here are some of the worst offenders lurking among LinkedIn Profiles, along with suggestions for alternative wording:
1 – Accomplished professional.
If this is really true, then show (don’t tell!) your readers about it. This phrase is likely to prompt more annoyance from employers than appreciation.
Instead, consider using a sentence or phrase that speaks specifically to your achievements and career stature, as shown here:
Sales rep distinguished by closing 153% of quota in 2017
IT Director heading millions in outsourcing contracts at global banks
In addition, you can add accomplishment data (right in the Summary) that cuts to the heart of what you do and why you’re good at it, with sentences such as these:
Sales manager honored for coaching 3 Top Producers
Operations manager promoted for increasing production line efficiency
2 – Results-driven.
Most companies plan on hiring someone who fits this description, and they weed out anyone who doesn’t perform to their expectations. It’s almost to your detriment to point this out in your Profile.
You might try adding information that actually PROVES your drive for results, with mention of how you’ve earned a promotion in just 6 months, or the ways in which your performance has outpaced that of your peers.
3 – Exceptional communicator.
The trouble with this phrase is that it’s not only tough to prove, but that the person using it often misspells one or more words (really).
Since your LinkedIn Profile gives you plenty of opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills, you’ll have the opportunity to convey complex concepts or perhaps distill a major project into a short description… both of which would speak louder about your communications skills than this phrase ever will.
4 – Proven success.
Well, employers would hope so. After all, why mention your success unless you have some proof to back it up?
Here’s where you’re better off noting some metrics, as in:
Exceeded quota for 7 out of past 8 years
Brought company to 87% market share
Met 100% of project budget constraints despite limited resources
These achievements can help online readers understand the scope of your work and the reasons behind your career progression.
5 – Experienced.
Ahem… of COURSE you are.
Even worse, successful experienceis so redundant you’re wasting space and LinkedIn keyword optimization by even thinking of these phrases.
One way to replace this word is to simply specify the number of years you’ve worked in the industry.
However, be careful here: 16 years of experience in salesdoesn’t quite have the same ring as Generated 27% average over-quota revenue throughout progressively challenging sales roles.
6 – Responsible for.
Just like a resume, there is no reason to clutter the landscape of your Profile with a phrase that is largely assumed.
Rather than use this phrase, you can just skip to the relevant facts (managed $4.2M budget, oversaw 12-state region, supervised staff of 35) and save everyone’s time.
7 – Microsoft Word skills.
Unless you’re targeting an entry-level or editing job, there’s no advantage to listing basic skills possessed by nearly all applicants. In fact, employers might be more surprised if you lack these capabilities.
Instead, research target jobs for desirable skills and keywords that can help pull in traffic from recruiters seeking specific competencies.
By taking a long look at your LinkedIn Profile, you should be able to see if you’re committing the SAME mistakes that have been appearing on resumes for years.
If so, it’s time to refresh your approach and provide specific details on the high points of your career—information that others can readily relate to (and even use to hire you) from your LinkedIn Profile.
My clients win interviews and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, enjoying the competitive advantage of powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.
Want to boost your networking power and job search results – and get more people to respond to you on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn’s Find Alumni section is one of the site’s hidden gems that can make your networking activity much easier.
Tucked under the Connections menu options on your LinkedIn page, Find Alumni is a high-ROI tool that can help open doors for anyone, regardless of occupation or career level.
To maximize this tool, first fill in your Profile’s Education section with your university name, major, and other relevant facts. Next, from your LinkedIn Home page, select Connections, then Find Alumni.
Now, sit back and take in the wealth of new contacts and job search information that rolls across your screen! (more…)
Built a LinkedIn Profile that doesn’t seem to be “working” for your job search?
You might not be drawing enough traffic to it.
Years ago, I realized that applying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques on my Profile attracted more traffic. Applying my knowledge of web SEO and database optimization, I was able to draw a sizable audience on LinkedIn, with just a few tweaks based on what I noticed in the site’s search algorithms.
The good news? I’ve figured this out so YOU don’t have to — and it’s not as difficult as it sounds.(more…)
Not sure why LinkedIn isn’t working for your job search?
If so, you’ll need to check out these strategies used by successful job hunters:
Part 1: Build More Connections
Part 2: Set Your Groups Strategy
Part 3: Analyze Your Competition
Part 4: Boost Your Profile’s Searchability
Here’s the last, critical step in getting results from LinkedIn:
5 – You DO need to use LinkedIn for follow-up.
Applying to an online posting (on LinkedIn or elsewhere) is no longer a good idea without some form of follow-up.
If you have any way of finding out the company name, great. If you have any method of getting the hiring manager’s name, excellent!
To access this information, comb through a list of employees at the target company (perform a Company Search on LinkedIn, of course). Identify the most likely person there who would hire you (usually 1 or 2 levels above your ideal job).
Next, read the company’s press and look at what’s going on in the industry. Your mission is to determine their pain points. Why do they need to hire you? What’s happening in this company that requires your expertise?
Then, use the contact name you identified to reach out. Send an email, LinkedIn InMail, or even an FedEx overnight letter. Explain that you applied online and want to follow up, or better yet, explain how you’ve identified the key areas of need at this company, and how you can help.
Whether you’re doing this in reply to an online job announcement, or just looking at likely employers to pursue, the process is the same. See how much more personal and focused you can be with this approach?
In short, if you’re still wondering if you missed the LinkedIn train to job search success, the answer is yes.
Now go out and sharpen your approach with these extra steps to get more employer attention!
Need a competitive edge in your job search?
As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate – PLUS arm you with the job search tools that will get you hired faster.
My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.
Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results my expertise can bring to your transition.
– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC
Among the World’s Top Credentialed Resume & LinkedIn Experts
“As In-House Counsel for a Fortune 1000 Company, I retained Laura to revamp my resume. As a result of her attention to detail, Laura was able to grasp complex topics quickly… and highlight my broad skill set, with a product worthy of my past accomplishments.
I highly recommend Laura to all others who want to get on the fast track to success!”
— Kirk D., General Counsel
Worldwide Reputation for Excellence in Resume Writing
Get hired faster for an executive or Board seat with an expertly branded, keyword-rich Resume and LinkedIn Profile, plus insider tips to access the hidden job market.
I guarantee you'll benefit from the competitive edge I create in your job hunt. I specialize in RESULTS!
Executive Resume Writing Sample: CEO & Board Advisor
MORE Resume & Job Search Tips
Global Resume Contest Winner: CMO Resume Example
“Laura’s work is exceptional… providing a highly valuable service that gets results! She is a master at professionally capturing career experience with both speed and precision into a product that makes a difference. PLUS, she knows exactly the techniques to fully leverage LinkedIn and keyword SEO.
I highly recommend Laura’s professional services.”
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