If you, like Kanye West, actually use LinkedIn for job opportunities and not as an avenue for stalking people you can’t find on Facebook, we have some great advice.
The networking site released its annual list of overused buzzwords, as it has for the past four years. As usual, the words are boring, clichéd, and pretty much meaningless in the context of a job application.
Take it from us (we have jobs and you don’t): it’s always better to use specific examples and full sentences than to rely on unimpressive adjectives. Here are LinkedIn’s top 10 most ubiquitous words of 2014, with our advice for improving upon them:
10. Analytical — You are a shrewd, calculating person who doesn’t let feelings get in the way of action.
Instead, try this: I am a Slytherin.
9. Innovative — You’re a person with great ideas, an underground Einstein whose immense talent for improving everything has somehow gone untapped. You fail to realize that if you were truly innovative, you wouldn’t be on LinkedIn.
Instead, try this: I once figured out the hot key combo to close a browser tab all by myself, without even Googling it.
8. Driven — You won’t take no for an answer, and you will cash out your personal and sick days rather than use them.
Instead, try this: I don’t get why everyone hates Anne Hathaway.
7. Organizational — What a terrible word. What does this even mean? You are good at organizing? Put this in your profile if you want to be someone’s assistant for the rest of your life.
Instead, try this: I have an entire pinboard full of tips on how to organize paperwork. I cloyingly refer to them as “lifehacks.”
6. Expert — Again, if you were truly an expert on anything, anything at all, you wouldn’t be wasting your time posting a résumé on LinkedIn.
Instead, try this: I paid $100 for an online course on how to use LinkedIn; is that not enough?
5. Patient — You maintain a calm and sweet façade, but your coworkers have noticed your passive aggressive ways and they greatly fear you. Everyone wonders when you’ll finally snap and set the building on fire with your colleagues locked inside.
Instead, try this: I’m the lady who smiles and asks you in a syrupy voice, “Want some coffee? You look tired!” I wear pastel cardigans. All offices are legally bound to carry one (1) of me.
4. Effective — You ran out of adjectives and picked this one because it sounded… effective.
Instead, try this: I am proficient in using the thesaurus option on Merriam‐Webster.com.
3. Creative — You once purchased a Nikon DSLR, took a bunch of black and white pictures of trees, posted them on Facebook under an album called “Photography,” and announced you were a photographer to every potential hookup you met for three months afterward. You haven’t touched the camera since.
Instead, try this: My office attire will walk the perfect line between funky and appropriate, via statement jewelry.
2. Strategic — You like Call of Duty so much that you thought about joining ROTC in college for like, a solid week.
Instead, try this: I will boss people around even if I am not their superior, because I believe myself to be a natural leader.
1. Responsible — Your grasp on the basic requirements of adulthood is so tenuous, you fail to realize that telling people you are responsible will only prove the exact opposite.
Instead, try this: I’m now at a point where I wash my bed sheets almost once a month. I expect to have worked up to a biweekly schedule by the time I am married.
Good luck getting a job in 2014 using these hot tips.