The lighter side: Stop using these buzzwords. Now.

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Let’s get one thing straight: buzzwords can be a good thing. Key words that deliver the message succinctly, memorably and meaningfully are a fantastic tool. But you can have too much of a good thing.

As HRM readers will know, buzzwords and phrases , when overused, become hackneyed and clichéd, and make communications turgid. They can actually cloud the meaning of your communication or turn the reader off. The problem is that it's terribly easy to get brainwashed into using buzzwords.

So, as we move into 2014, it might be time to take a red pen to your employer profile, internal communications and memos, and trim down any overused lingo. To help you with that, LinkedIn has compiled the top 10 overused buzzwords of 2013:
  • Responsible
     
  • Strategic
     
  • Effective
     
  • Creative
     
  • Innovative
     
  • Expert
     
  • Positive
     
  • Passionate
     
  • Driven
     
  • Dynamic
 
But hey, let’s be fair. Through responsible and strategic use of these words, experts can demonstrate their creative approach to positive results. These 10 words can tell someone a lot about how passionate, dynamic, innovative and driven you are in your field.
 
Ooops.
 
Key HR takeaways
When trimming down one’s LinkedIn profile, it takes more than just replacing these overused buzzwords with next year’s list. LinkedIn recommended the following best practices:
  • Tie words to actual results Instead of using words with no real weight, use data and numerical results to prove the efficacy of the HR function in your company.
     
  • Use active language Don’t just say you are responsible for something – show how you’ve taken on a mandate and delivered results.
     
  • Let others vouch for you People won’t take your word for it. Seek out endorsements and recommendations from your peers and former employers/colleagues to verify your department’s successes.
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