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Overused Words in the Job Search

Are you effective, driven or creative? Turns out, you’re not alone. According to a recent LinkedIn list, those three descriptors fall within 2013’s most overused words and phrases in members’ profiles. Here is the full list:
• Responsible.
• Strategic.
• Creative.
• Effective.
• Patient.
• Expert.
• Organizational.
• Driven.
• Innovative.
• Analytical.

Word Games
What’s so wrong about being an innovative expert, you may ask? Nothing. But here’s hoping that you’re not banking on those descriptors to land your next gig. The point of your resume is to stand out from your competition, not blend in. Recruiters are looking for unique thinkers and tangible examples of how your strongest attributes have catalyzed major impacts within your past employers. If you label yourself as innovative, then a hiring manager will look for proof backing this up. Include examples supporting your claims within your job descriptions or key achievements to help sell your story to the reader.

One way to really convey your value is to have others do it for you. Endorsements or recommendations on LinkedIn can help your profile shine. They can also give recruiters an honest assessment of your key skills because it’s not you delivering your pitch anymore. The words of support are coming from your colleague or manager, lending credibility to the feedback. For the more traditional approach, a strong letter of recommendation accommodating a paper or emailed resume also can go a long way. And co-workers, managers or former professional acquaintances are usually willing to offer their help in finding you a new job by penning a positive letter or praise and support.

The Extras
Another way to set yourself apart – besides an infusion of trendy, powerful keywords – is a personal online portfolio. For LinkedIn users, this can mean taking advantage of integrating videos and presentations into their profiles or providing a link to a live website. Recruiters love this type of extra information because it can give a more complete picture of prospective candidates.

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