Recruiters: What Your LinkedIn Profile Says About You

As a recruiter who scans dozens of CVs every day, you’ll know how important certain keywords are in identifying the right candidates. You’ll also be used to seeing candidates use the same words like ‘passionate’, ‘strategic’, and ‘driven’ over and over again to describe themselves.

However, every story has two sides and you have to remember that candidates – and potential employers – also assess how your profile represents you, in the exact same way you assess the candidates on a daily basis.

Everyone has the potential to fall into using a cliché – and there are always a few buzzwords that manage to find their way onto LinkedIn profiles and CVs. We analyzed millions of member profiles in the HR and recruitment sector to reveal the buzzwords our members and specifically, you, as talent professionals are using on your profiles.

LinkedIn’s top 10 buzzwords used by talent professionals were:

  1. Specialize
  2. Experienced
  3. Leadership
  4. Skilled
  5. Expert
  6. Passionate
  7. Strategic
  8. Motivated
  9. Responsible
  10. Successful

This year’s list reveals that you, talent professionals, are using new words like and ‘skilled’ and ‘motivated’ to describe yourselves. Meanwhile, ‘focused’ and ‘excellent’ – which featured in fourth and seventh place last year – have both dropped off the 2017 list.

So what does this mean? We spoke to Rodney Jones, Professor of Sociolinguistics from the University of Reading who explained that the data shows how talent professionals are moving away from highlighting particular personal strengths, towards skills and abilities that can be more specifically categorized.

Professor Jones commented:

This narrowing down from generic terms to far more specific words such as ‘skilled’ and ‘experienced’ reflects a change in job roles that are becoming more specialized. Roles in the banking and pharmaceutical sector, for example, are under increasing scrutiny and as a result, require more verifiable skills and attributes.

The Buzzwords data also reveals an increased use of ‘leadership’ in recent years. Professor Jones explains, “Companies are becoming less hierarchical – even junior members are expected to demonstrate leadership.”

Whatever you’re using LinkedIn for – whether it’s sourcing new candidates, building out your network of clients, or taking your own step up the career ladder – it’s essential to ensure that your profile paints the right picture. Here are some top tips on how to give candidates, and employers, the best impression:

Join the conversation

If you want to let people know you’re ‘experienced’ or an ‘expert’, show your network by publishing a post on LinkedIn. By offering your opinion on industry matters you’ll be positioning yourself as a thought leader and sharing valuable knowledge. And it’s not just about your own profile – participate in conversations in groups and on others’ profiles. The more proactive you are, the more potential clients, candidates, and employers will come across your profile.

Let others do the talking

If you want to highlight your skills such as ‘leadership’, think about getting recommendations from others to prove it. Only 22% of workers say they feel confident enough to talk about their professional achievements, so getting others involved is a great way to show it.

Show, don’t just tell

If you consider yourself a ‘specialist’, show this by tailoring your profile accordingly – list relevant skills which have been built up through your work experience. And while language is important, bring these skills to life by uploading examples of presentations, achievements, images and other work to your profile that clearly demonstrate what you’re capable of.

Consider voice

It’s often tempting to speak in the third person when it comes to our working lives, but

This can sound impersonal. It can pay off to speak directly, the way you would when chatting with a candidate or potential employer – people reading your profile want to see and feel your personality.

About the author: Jon Addison is the Head of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn UK.


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