December 13, 2013

Guess What? Recruiter-Talk is Clichéd Too

funny woman is yawning when talking phoneFor four straight years, professional networking site LinkedIn has analyzed the language commonly used in its members’ profiles. And it creates a list of the top 10 overused buzzwords in LinkedIn profiles.

2013’s list included:

1. Responsible

2. Strategic

3. Creative

4. Effective

5. Patient

6. Expert

7. Organizational

8. Driven

9. Innovative

10. Analytical

We all know ATSs scan resumes and profiles for specific keywords when it comes to filtering out applicants for a job posting; so, it’s no wonder LinkedIn members are using the above descriptive words so extensively.

I typed “responsible,” the word LinkedIn reported was overused 2x more than any other word on the list, in (no specific location) just for kicks, and guess what? “Responsible” currently shows up in almost 94,000 active job descriptions and/or titles. The word “strategic” is currently in more than 17,000 job ads on Indeed.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that hiring managers are sifting through ‘look-alike applicants’ whose resumes all say, “I am a responsible, strategic, creative worker able to produce effective results for your company,” if nearly every job ad states that it’s seeking “a responsible, strategic, creative worker capable of producing effective results for the company”?

I think not, but that’s another topic for another day. Moving forward…

This year LinkedIn has also generated a list of the Top 10 Buzzwords Recruiters Overused in 2013. Those include:

1. Responsible

2. Strategic

3. Effective

4. Organizational

5. Expert

6. Creative

7. Innovative

8. Positive

9. Driven

10. Dynamic

LinkedIn says that when it comes to having a strong recruiter brand, originality and authenticity are keys to success.

Originality: the quality of being new and different in a good and appealing way

Authentic: real or genuine, not copied or false

Sure a recruiter can spot an unoriginal and unauthentic candidate profile full of cringe worthy buzzwords. This is a major turn off, right? Because, of course, recruiters and hiring managers are always looking for the best, brightest, stand-out-from-the-crowd talent, correct?

So, if it’s unappealing for job candidates to use “copied” words or phrases that don’t demonstrate the quality of being new or different, why is it okay for recruiters to do so? Is there a double-standard in the recruitment profession? Do as I say, not as I do?

Whether or not a double standard exists can be hashed out later; the most important task at hand is to update and enhance your recruiter profile so that, like the applicants you’re seeking, your resume can truly stand out from the crowd.

And just how do you do this? How about taking some advice most often given to job seekers:

Tailor Your Resume

Recruiters should tailor their resumes and/or LinkedIn profiles as well. Just like a one-size-fits-all resume doesn’t work for job seekers, this structure won’t work for your LinkedIn profile either. If you’re seeking to get into the technology recruitment field and know you’ll be using your LinkedIn account to apply for jobs, tailor it for the tech industry. The same goes for international recruitment, executive recruitment, college recruitment, etc.

Constantly Update Information

If you’ve received certifications, learned a new skill, or received an award…add this to your LinkedIn profile. Just as you’d update a resume with new experiences, you should be constantly tweaking your LinkedIn profile to ensure it reflects the most up-to-date information. Just like a job seeker, you never know who’s checking out your social media accounts for background information.

Emphasize Uniqueness

If you don’t want to attract “typical” candidates or have companies view you as a “typical” recruiter, stay away from “typical” buzzwords. Play up your unique qualities, experiences and qualifications to show job seekers and companies how you’re different. And remember, show, don’t tell. Any recruiter can say he or she is responsible; show this responsibility by describing your work experience or accomplishments.

Read more news in Using LinkedIn

Marks’ stories have also been published in a variety of newspaper, magazine and online formats including The Arizona Republic, The Daily Herald, Arizona Foothills Magazine and various classroom magazines of Scholastic Inc. Service is her passion, writing is her platform and uplifting and inspiring the community is her purpose. Marks received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University.
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