Take These Words Off Your Resume Now

by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

It's time to update your resume! And your cover letter. And your LinkedIn profile. The professional networking site has compiled a list of the 10 words that are most overused by job-seekers by surveying the profile summaries of its 259 million members across 20 countries.

Some cliched descriptors transcend national bounds. "Responsible" topped lists from Singapore to Sweden; "strategic" was popular from Canada to Brazil to India. Other global resume buzzwords included "passionate" (New Zealand and Australia), "sustainable" (the Netherlands), "multinational" (the United Arab Emirates), and "enthusiastic" (Great Britain, LOL). In the United States, LinkedIn spokeswoman Nicole Williams said she was surprised by the emergence of "patient" as a hyper-common word on LinkedIn profiles. America was the only country for which patient scratched the top 10.

Here are the most overused buzzwords of 2013 globally:

1. Responsible

2. Strategic

3. Creative

4. Effective

5. Patient

6. Expert

7. Organizational

8. Driven

9. Innovative

10. Analytical

Buzzwords from previous years that fell out of fashion include "experimental" and "specialized" (2012); "track record" and "motivated" (2011); "results-oriented" and "team player" (2010).

LinkedIn's career expert Nicole Williams recommends switching it up. "If you sound like everyone else, you won’t stand out from other professionals vying for opportunities. Differentiate yourself by uniquely describing what you have accomplished in your career and back it up with concrete examples of your work."