Are you a responsible employee? How responsible are you? Are you so responsible that you’d be willing to put it on your resume? You are? Great! You’re hired! (Said no one.)
LinkedIn has released its list of the top ten most overused buzzwords of the year, and guess which one took the top spot in 2013. Yep—you guessed it: “Responsible.” Of course, it’s not nearly as ironic as “creative” being the most overused buzzword for the last two years, but it’s still kind of funny.
“Creative” didn’t get booted off the list entirely, just downgraded to the third most overused buzzword, after “strategic.” Rounding out the top five were “effective” and “patient,” followed by “expert,” “organizational,” “driven,” “innovative,” and “analytical.” Because nothing says “innovative” or “analytical” like putting those two buzzwords directly in your resume.
Some words that were edged out of the top ten this year included “experimental,” “motivated,” “multinational” (?), and “specialized.”
This is the fourth year that LinkedIn has released a top ten list of resume buzzwords.
LinkedIn also looked at English-language profiles in 14 other countries, including Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates. Interestingly, the top three buzzwords—“responsible,” “strategic,” and “creative”—were pretty common (even in the same order) throughout most of the countries.
There were a few buzzwords that were specific to individual countries. For example, in Great Britain—a country known for its propriety, bland food, and almost complete lack of emotion—one of the top ten buzzwords was “enthusiastic,” which didn’t appear in any other country’s top ten list.
Australia and New Zealand were the only two countries to include “passionate” in their top ten. “Sustainable” was only in the Netherlands’ top ten, and “patient” was only in the U.S. list.
In the last year, LinkedIn’s network has grown to more than 259 million members worldwide, up from 187 million when it released its 2012 overused buzzwords list.
The hiring rate is also very different this year than it was in 2012. The unemployment rate for November fell to 7%, the lowest it’s been since 2008 as the U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs to the payrolls. By contrast, in November 2012, the unemployment rate was 7.8%. Some one-third of the new jobs came from the retail, restaurant, and hotel sectors, as well as temporary help. Over the past year, the retail industry has added 323,000 jobs and the temporary-help services have added 219,000 jobs. But higher paying jobs are also on the rise (while still making up an arguably small fraction of total jobs), with manufacturers adding 76,000 jobs in 2013.