Working With Awful LinkedIn Adivce? Just Keep Repeating It!

Are you creative?

Well – once again LinkedIn has trolled through their collection of user profiles and suggests that you not describe yourself with that word…

I’ve never cared for this advice, and if they’re going to double-down on providing it, I’m going to raise the stakes about why this advice is merely useless.

The footnote

I do appreciate the fact that they’re telling us how they’re coming up with this data. It’s in a footnote:

[1] Methodological details: We followed the same methodology as last year, we included non-English profiles in the analysis after translating them. We aggregated the adjectives in the summary section of our member’s public profiles and removed some overused nouns (e.g., “mobile”) and other irrelevant words. From that list we sorted words by frequency and took the top 10 for each country.

I’m going to guess some sort of dictionary was used to classify words as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

But just why was “mobile” taken out? Maybe too many people actually work with “mobile devices” – you know those new-fangled technologies.

I’m curious about the “irrelevant words”; maybe as irrelevant as “creative”?

But now that I’m looking – why are “extensive experience” and “track record” on the list? Perhaps they could have left “extensive” and “track” because those are adjectives, but “experience” and “record” are both definitely nouns. (well, they could be verbs, but they’re definitely not adjectives…)

It’s almost as if the way a word is used, or the context in which it appears matters…

Huh – like there’s some creativity about it.

Somebody’s opinion

Yes, that’s what the whole effort is about.

Somebody doesn’t think your profile is creative enough and would like to see you update it.

Ok – that’s fine advice – just don’t hang it on a list of supposedly overused words!

The bigger problem

I’m more concerned about users that have not taken the time to put much of anything into their profile.

My last informal review of accounts found a huge rate of “nearly empty” profile summaries.

Fixing that would be much more important than getting the few people that take the time to include text within their summary to pump it up…

It’s just like the 100%

You know – that mostly useless figure about profile completion…

I’ll give you a tip – mine isn’t 100% complete.

It used to be, and I wasn’t at all concerned about it. But then LinkedIn introduced skills and I wasn’t interest in playing that game. So because I won’t list any skills in the “this is the place where you list your skills like every other person” spot, my profile won’t ever be 100% complete.

I’d rather work those skills into my summary and the descriptions of the positions I’ve held – and not look like the eighty million people that tell readers they have skills in Microsoft Office.

You know – it might actually be useful to provide the most “over-listed but completely inane skills on LinkedIn”. Hmmm, that might actually be helpful, but then it’d point out how useless the entire skills section is…

But I’m not sweating it – and neither should you.

To your continued success,

Steven Tylock


  1. Steve,

    I’m with you! The question should be, “are searchers using these terms in their queries?” If so, then you better darn well have them in your profile. The only word I hate is “Seasoned.” It creates a mind picture of someone putting salt and pepper on you.

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