One of the most highly anticipated blog posts published on the LinkedIn corporate blog is our annual ranking of the most overused buzzwords on LinkedIn. These are the cringe-worthy phrases that litter many profiles, but add little value. I bet you know what I am talking about…yes, the candidates who say that they’re “effective,” “strategic,” “motivated” and so on.

Well, this year we decided to turn the tables and unveil the first ever list of buzzwords that you, recruiters, used heavily in 2013.

After combing through millions of English-language recruiter profiles, we found a resounding winner. It turns out that recruiters’ favorite adjective to describe themselves is “responsible,” followed by the runner-up “strategic.”

Interestingly, when compared to marketers and sales people, recruiters are a lot less likely to emphasize qualities like “creative” and “competitive” and show higher preference for “exceptional” and “organizational.”

Geography also plays a fascinating role in the buzzword usage. Countries like Brazil, Japan and Saudi Arabia all have “multinational” in their top 10 lists, while for the United States this word ranks at the #30 spot. Instead, Americans prefer to classify themselves as – wait for it – “patient.”

For all fun details, check out the infographic below:

Now that you have seen proof that recruiters are not immune to using clichés on their LinkedIn profiles, we challenge you to go back and update your LinkedIn presence. Treat your profile with the same critical eye that you use when scanning your job candidates!


* We looked at 14 countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United States

** Methodology
In pulling the top ten list, we only focused on English-language profiles; we did not translate any profiles from foreign languages to English. We removed stop words (e.g. the, between, and) and nouns (e.g. project, work, management), and filtered to just adjectives. We ranked these adjectives by word count and picked the top ten for each country, and top ten aggregated worldwide.

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