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The 10 Most Overused Words on LinkedIn

overused wordsEver heard of B.S. Bingo? Kinder, gentler circles refer to it as Buzzword Bingo. In my younger (and admittedly, more immature and foolish) days as a manager, we would covertly play the corporate version of this game at staff meetings.

You print out sheets like Buzzword_Bingo (make sure they are arranged differently with variations of placement and words) and mark the square when the word is used by someone in the meeting. Match 5 in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally before anyone else and you’re a winner. Instead of yelling “BINGO!”, which would have been a dead giveaway, we would use a code word or phrase like “outstanding” or “that’s thinking out of the box” (which was often a square in itself).

OVERUSED WORDS ARE… WELL… OVERUSED

While I don’t recommend playing this game anymore, it was a response to the silly desire to sound like you knew what you were talking about by using whatever vernacular was considered “smart” or “hip” for the moment. I thought this practice would go away someday but I was clearly wrong.

Proof of this is LinkedIn’s annual list of most overused words in their profiles. The full article is here. This year’s list looks like this:

  1. responsible
  2. strategic
  3. creative
  4. effective
  5. patient
  6. expert
  7. organizational
  8. driven
  9. innovative
  10. analytical

How many of these are in your profile? Let me know while I go make a few strategic creative innovative updates to mine…

Scott Wilson is the Director of Communications and Technology for The Urban Child Institute (tuci.org), a not-for-profit dedicated to improving the development and well-being of children. He is also a marketing and business strategy consultant for small businesses and writes regularly about Leadership, Communication and Marketing on his blog, scottkwilson.com.

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