If only you were more like a cat
If only your LinkedIn profile were more like a cat video.
You know those irresistible distractions that get sent your way, cats that play pingpong or jump 6 feet into the air to retrieve a toy. And two of my favorites are cats that play patty-cake and the baby who can't stop laughing at the cat pawing the ribbon.
You and your profile can be just as irresistible.
If only you think more like, well, a cat and the owners who videotape them.
Why do cat videos get so much attention — besides the fact that they are an occasional harmless diversion from work? They have universal appeal.
Cats and babies do well “because they transcend boundaries,” said Jessica Mason of YouTube for Good at the Social Good Summit in 2012.
She distills their popularity down to three points:
They tell universal stories. They engage regularly. (Apparently, people regularly post their amazing cat feats.) They are surprising, original and action packed.
I'm afraid, though, that most people's LinkedIn profiles don't have nearly the same effect or appeal.
In fact, they can be quite blase. And they aren't particularly surprising, original or action packed either.
For one thing, people's descriptions of their skills and attributes tend to sound like everyone else. Proof is in LinkedIn's overused professional buzzwords analysis.
After going through complex technical machinations — sorting, aggregating and translating adjectives from the descriptions of their 187 million users in the entire world — LinkedIn's data science team found that way too many people describe themselves as “creative.”
That word, they say, is the most overused buzzword in profiles globally.
The second most overused buzzword in the world is “organizational.” By the way, this word is not technically correct. If you're trying to say you're methodical and well prepared, you would be organized, not organizational.
Others on the overused list are “extensive experience,” “track record,” “innovative” and “problem solving.”
When broken down by country, the most overused word in Brazil is “experimental.” In Egypt and Indonesia, “multinational.” In France and Italy, “responsible.” In India, “effective.” In Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom, “motivated.” In Switzerland, “analytical.” In Australia, Canada, Germany, United States, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and Sweden the No. 1 most overused buzzword is “creative.”
Getting back to cats a minute, they face fierce competition on the Internet, Mason says. That's why they need to be surprising, original and action packed.
There's even an international cat video festival in which they compete.
You, too, face fierce competition. So instead of using overworked words that make you sound like the next cat, surprise us with words that describe you like no one else. Not just in your LinkedIn profile, but in your cover letters and resume, too.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- For Steelers outside linebacker Jones, size is not an obstacle
- Pirates top Cardinals, 5-2, on Davis’ homer; Alvarez, McCutchen hurt
- Latrobe law firm’s secretary pleads guilty to income tax evasion
- Steelers notebook: Team cuts 15 players, including LB So’oto, RB Hall
- Steelers cornerbacks Allen, Gay, Taylor have something to prove
- Dem Wolf eyes shale’s ‘golden egg’ to boost school funding
- Indiana County township ‘afraid for the water’ fights waste well
- Pennsylvania investigators get truck to aid in finding child predators
- Western Pennsylvania drivers at bottom of insurer’s safety rankings
- Mystery continues to surround Hill District slaying
- Greensburg Central influence follows Delaware quarterback