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Are You ‘Innovative’?

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Are You ‘Innovative’?

If you use any of these words, especially when describing yourself, you might want to reconsider:

  1. Specialized
  2. Leadership
  3. Passionate
  4. Strategic
  5. Experienced
  6. Focused
  7. Expert
  8. Certified
  9. Creative
  10. Excellent

The official LinkedIn blog reports that these are the 10 most overused words in LinkedIn profiles. These words might be popular, but by overuse alone, they have lost all their punch. Not only do they “do little to communicate why we’re good at our jobs,” but they actually “blend into the background rather than get noticed.”

Worse than that, the use of this jargon might tell the astute reader that the person who relies on them is really faking it. People use such words, the blog suggests, “to seem knowledgeable when we’re not confident talking about [their] professional achievements.”

Meanwhile, James Sudakow, a marketing consultant and author of Picking the Low-Hanging Fruit … And Other Stupid Things We Say in the Corporate World, suggests something, well, innovative. If we just started talking “in a normal way, the way [we] would talk to anybody else, we might actually be able to communicate better.”

And one more thing: According to David Meerman Scott, the international business strategist who spoke at the Council’s Spring Executive Meeting in Washington, “if you’re even using the word ‘innovative,’ you’re not innovative, because everybody says it.”

Want More Information on This Topic?

Contact Nick DeSarno, manager of digital and communications practice, Public Affairs Council

Additional Resources

Communicating the Value of Online Advocacy and Social Media for Public Affairs

Public Affairs and Advocacy Writing Workshop