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LinkedIn reveals its annual list of Buzzwords for talent professionals

LinkedIn reveals its annual list of Buzzwords for talent professionals

Written by James Osborne

Last edited May 3, 2023

LinkedIn reveals its annual list of Buzzwords for talent professionals

Linkedin has revealed it’s annual list of Buzzwords for Talent Professionals ‘skilled’ and ‘motivated’ are some popular ones.


LinkedIn reveals its annual list of Buzzwords for talent professionals

  • HR and recruitment professionals are highlighting skills and experience over personal strengths
  • Socioeconomic analysis suggests companies becoming less hierarchical and more specialised job roles are linked to changes in vocabulary
  • ‘Focused’ drops off this year’s list, whilst ‘skilled’ and ‘motivated’ join the top ten

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, analysed the most popular words in member profiles worldwide – and found that HR and recruitment professionals were using new words like ‘skilled’ and ‘motivated’ to describe themselves. In contrast, ‘focused’ and ‘excellent’ – which featured in fourth and seventh place last year – have dropped off the 2017 list.

In 2017, the top 10 Buzzwords used by UK HR and recruitment professionals were:

1 Specialise 6 Expert
2 Experienced 7 Motivated
3 Leadership 8 Successful
4 Skilled 9 Generalist
5 Passionate 10 Strategic

Jon Addison, Head of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn UK, commented: “Those working in HR and recruitment know just how important keywords can be when it comes to identifying the ideal candidate. But it’s key to remember that it’s a two-way street – and candidates will equally be looking at your online presence too. With January being one of the busiest times for our people visiting the LinkedIn platform to explore new career opportunities, make sure your profile represents you as a true ambassador for your organisation’s employer brand.”

To help understand the change in language, and other findings in the data, LinkedIn partnered with Professor of Sociolinguistics Rodney Jonesfrom the University of Reading, to explain what this means:

  • LinkedIn’s data shows a movement away from highlighting particular personal strengths, towards skills and abilities that can be more specifically categorized. Professor Jones comments, “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 specialised. 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, jumping in at number one in 2015’s list and maintaining a presence in the top five ever since. Professor Jones explains, “Companies are becoming less hierarchical – even junior members are expected to demonstrate leadership.”

LinkedIn also shared some advice, to help recruiters stand out to candidates and clients:

  1. Take pride in your online presence: Your LinkedIn profile will be one of the first things potential candidates and clients see, so make sure it sells you in the best possible way – starting with the language you use. If you consider yourself a ‘specialist’, why not show this by tailoring your profile accordingly? List relevant skills which have been built up through your work experience.
  2. Show character: While the words you choose say a lot about you, it’s also important to strike a professional tone. This doesn’t mean you should shy away from adding some personality to your language though – this is a great way to show your character.
  3. Be active: It’s not just about what’s on your profile, proactivity is key when it comes to networking. Follow organisations that inspire you, or that you’d love to work for, make new connections, join groups and participate in discussions. This keeps your profile active and means that potential clients and candidates are more likely to come across your profile.
  4. Voice your opinion: If you are an ‘expert’ on a given topic, why not tell the world by publishing a post on LinkedIn? By offering your opinions on industry matters, it demonstrates to your audiences that you are knowledgeable and well informed.

Join the conversation at #LinkedInBuzzwords

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