We all make mistakes on social media every once and a while, and that’s to be expected. Sometimes, though, you might not realize you’re making a mistake.
LinkedIn is one of the most important social media sites for marketers, so making a mistake on this network can be costly. Whether you’re looking for a job or trying to widen your circle of connections for potential clients, your profile on LinkedIn is a crucial component to your personal brand.
When crafting your profile, the biggest mistake that professionals make is having a generic summary. With over 414 million members on LinkedIn, how are employers and potential customers going to remember who you are if your profile echoes that of every other industry professional? Filling your summary with buzzwords will drive prospects away.
Here are 15 overused words that will make your profile fade into the background:
- Extensive experience
How can you clean up your profile and remove all these buzzwords?
1. Show; don’t tell. Your professional summary is the first thing prospects see after your profile picture. Maybe you know that you exert leadership qualities, but too many of these overused words in your summary are going to make it hard for you to seem superior to your competitor. Rather, use concrete examples of how you’ve exhibited these traits.
2. Start featuring your work. Don’t just say you’re creative; prove it. Each profile section enables you to upload media. Whether you offer a photo, a link or even a video, prove to your prospects that you truly are creative. The same advice goes for all the listed buzzwords. Prove your leadership skills by showing a photo of yourself at a speaking event or helping a co-worker. These skills can be showcased in many different ways, but you must show your readers rather than expecting them to believe it based on a few words.
3. Share relevant information, and communicate clearly. You might have the best communication skills in your office and influence others with your views and skills. Still, how will a prospect know that unless you offer specific examples? Continually publishing posts and offering your opinion in industry-related groups conveys your expertise. Participate in LinkedIn groups to highlight your acumen.
4. Connect with industry professionals. Showcasing your motivation is obvious if you are interacting with others in your industry. Sharing your opinion on news or commentaries shows your prospects that you care about your profile, your industry and how you are perceived.
5. Try using a simple synonym. In some instances, using an uncommon synonym can help you stand out from the crowd. For example, for motivated try using ambitious, determined, compelled, or for responsible use conscientious, accountable or reliable. Instead of falling back on empty terminology, cut the buzzwords from your LinkedIn profile and add great work examples instead.
Do you have any other buzzwords that you hate seeing on LinkedIn profiles?
Melinda Lathrop is a PR major at Champlain College and a social media intern at Delta Marketing Group. You can see more of Melinda’s work at www.melindalathrop.com. A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.