Creative, analytical and effective – these are just some of the buzzwords Australian LinkedIn users are putting on their profiles to make them stand out from the crowd. Of course, it doesn’t help that every other user is doing the same.
A new study from the social networking site has revealed the top buzzwords used by Australian users, with “creative”, “effective” and “motivated” the three most common choices, followed by “extensive experience” and “track record”.
Others include “innovative”, “responsible” and “analytical”, along with “communication skills and positive”. They’re nearly identical to the same words revealed in last year’s survey.
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But while using these types of buzzwords is a common mistake, experts point out they’re just as frequently used among upper-level managers and even entrepreneurs – especially when they become entrenched in a specific industry.
Social media and marketing expert Trevor Young told SmartCompany this morning that business owners and managers need to be extremely careful about using jargon and buzzwords, and not just on LinkedIn.
“If you’re in a particular industry, and you’re talking to people within that industry then jargon can be OK. But the minute you start talking outside the industry, it’s not great.
“I look at this from a content marketing perspective. If you’re creating content for other people, even if you’re in a business like law, or something similar, you audience won’t understand you.
“To me, using jargon is just a bit of a crutch, something to hide behind.”
The LinkedIn survey is an interesting take on the type of buzzwords people in different countries use. For instance, while Australians, Americans and Canadians love the word “creative”, Brazilians prefer “experimental”, Egyptians the word “multinational” and in Malaysia, “motivated”.
In Switzerland, the top word was “analytical”.
Young says buzzwords and jargon can often be used in job applications and among workplaces to hide the fact someone may not know what they’re talking about.
“That often happens more in the corporate field, probably moreso when you get into a specialised field. It’s had to differentiate yourself when you use that type of language.”
It becomes all the more important, Young says, to delve into the type of jargon a person is using and ask them to explain a concept clearly and succinctly. If someone can’t explain a concept to someone working outside of their industry, and have them understand it, it can be a warning sign.
This is especially important when being seen as an industry expert is more important than ever before. Using jargon and being difficult to understand can hinder that reputation.
But with regard to LinkedIn, Young says the profile page is part of your “personal brand” and using words that everyone else uses will only put you further behind the competition.
“You want to do yourself justice,” he says. “Sounding the same and looking the same as everyone else does not differentiate you.”