· 2 min read · Features

HR professionals' CVs: Beating the buzzwords


Discover the jargon most commonly used by UK HR professionals, and how you can avoid it

We’ve all spent hours trawling through awful CVs. You know the ones: where candidates claim they’re an experienced and enthusiastic self-starter. They’re focused. They’re strategic. They’re successful. But you have no idea where that experience or success comes from, and you’ve lost interest after a single paragraph.

For HR people getting your professional profile right isn’t just important for your next career move; as the frontline of employer branding for your organisation it’s also crucial when it comes to attracting top new talent.

So while the days of pouring over a paper CV may be a distant memory, your online professional profile is now more readily, and rapidly, accessible than ever before, meaning we only have one chance to make a first impression and stand out. And as HR professionals at a time when competition for talent is so fierce, it is vital that you are creating a compelling profile that makes prospective employees excited about your organisation, and hungry for more information about potential roles.

With that in mind, during what is typically our busiest week in January for profile updates the team at LinkedIn analysed members’ profiles and discovered that HR professionals across the UK could be hampering their professional chances by relying too heavily on buzzwords.

We found that the top 10 most overused words on HR professionals' profiles are:

  • Specialised
  • Leadership
  • Experienced
  • Focused
  • Strategic
  • Passionate
  • Excellent
  • Expert
  • Generalist
  • Successful

So how can you make your online profile stand out and give yourself the edge when it comes to attracting talent?

First impressions matter

Aside from your profile photo, your LinkedIn profile summary is one of the first things candidates see. This makes it important to get it right.

Your summary doesn’t need to be lengthy - make it punchy and use it to draw people in. Use it as an opportunity to showcase your personality and experience by outlining how you can help people take their next step and find their dream job. Think of your summary as your professional self in a nutshell.

You don’t have to be a robot

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be a robot when it comes to sharing corporate messages. You can use your own language to get across the same messages. It’s an old adage that ‘people buy from people’, but it’s one that still rings true, so give your posts a warm tone and plenty of personality. Not only does this give a human element to the job search, but you’ll also be able to show potential candidates that your company is full of like-minded people who they’d want to work with.

Create dialogue

Your online profiles don’t have to be a meaningless game of buzzword bingo, and one of the greatest things about social media is that it allows you to continually build yourself professionally.

This is especially important when you consider how rapidly the workplace is changing, and how professionals are continually needing to adapt. So share things you’re interested in with your network; whether that’s your knowledge, or new information about your industry. It demonstrates that you’re passionate without having to say so. Plus it gives you the opportunity to interact and open a two-way conversation with other users, which is one of the greatest perks of social media.

Wave goodbye to buzzwords

At LinkedIn we want to banish buzzwords and help our members show their most authentic selves online. So let’s make 2017 the year we stop being ‘specialised’ ‘experts’, and start being individuals – with our own unique professional stories, backgrounds and ambitions.

Jon Addison is LinkedIn’s UK head of talent solutions