You have to see to believe just how much effort some people put into creating a great Facebook profile. They enter their favorite books, games, musicians, role models, and every-other-thing-under-the-sun.
When it comes to LinkedIn though, only a handful get it right. And for every one person who does, there are ten others who screw it up. Here are 15 overused, copy-pasted and generally nonsensical things you need to stop putting in your LinkedIn profiles.
1. Motivated self-starter
This is neither a prize nor a skill. Every person is supposed to be self-motivated by default. As for the self-starter bit, you’re a human being, not a moving part of a four-cylinder internal combustion engine. Get your act together.
Usually found: Stalling on a cold, winter morning because of a malfunctioning carburetor.
Good for: Writing lame things on their LinkedIn profiles.
2. People’s person
“Look, if you want to make friends and find scrabble partners, don’t do it on company time — we have weekends for that,” is the bare truth that someone needs to tell these people, but they’re invariably the ones who process our salaries, so…
Usually found: Hanging upside down from the nearest water cooler…
Good for: Organizing children’s birthday parties.
3. Proactive team player
Wait, are you proactive? Or are you a team player? Those are two mutually exclusive things, you know? You can just be a team player, you can just be proactive too. A proactive team player sounds suspiciously like that annoying loudmouth in meetings who has to dominate all conversations.
Usually found: Hijacking meetings, conference calls and restroom conversations.
Good for: Your ignoring pleasure.
4. Creative problem solver
What if there is no problem? What is your gigantic, hyper-intelligent and insanely creative brain going to solve then? Creative people don’t make assumptions like the existence of a problem, and they definitely don’t walk around with a signboard saying, “creative” on their heads.
Usually found: Making power point presentations that smack of “originality”.
Good for: Helping your kids with Lego castle construction.
You have to be careful of this person. Chances are they were clinically diagnosed for obsessive compulsive disorder. And because they still have to keep their job, they use the word “perfectionist” as a mask to cover their dementia. Two words: Use caution.
Usually found: Arranging socks’ by color and hand towels by length.
Good for: Medical case studies and research on senile behavior.
6. Avid learner
If you’re so enthusiastic about learning, perhaps you should consider dragging your posterior back to college. Companies pay you to work, not learn. Well it’s great if you learn on-the-job. But that still doesn’t call for putting learner in your bio. And avid? No, no. You’re just a learner, okay?
Usually found: Stealing copies of popular mechanics and faking expertise.
Good for: Sunday evening pseudo-intellectual conversations.
7. Aspiring entrepreneur
After failing at almost everything that a person can try — our friend here stumbled upon a story like, “30 people who made it in life after 30″ and got inspired like a hyperactive squirrel on a double espresso shot. Voila! By now, the entrepreneurial spirit has now got them by the proverbial… never mind.
Usually found: Incessantly firing emails of breakthrough business models to much-harassed investors.
Good for: Snacking on smoked salmon and sipping Prosecco while reading Entrepreneur in Napa valley. (In their dreams.)
8. Solutions architect
They’re no architect! You know it and they know it. Facts are facts, architects are people who spend many years learning design, construction, illustration and mathematics in the hopes of some day being able to build a landmark — not a know-it-all, boardroom-occuppying doofus.
Usually found: Creating giant process flowcharts that no one reads, ever.
Good for: Solving insoluble problems, or at least trying really hard and not being able to.
Break for Hall of Fame: The guys who get it, somewhat
9. Strategic planner
As someone once said on Twitter, “You’re not a strategic planner, you’re just a monkey with an Internet connection.” Well, quite honestly, I have no idea what strategic planners do — one can only guess that right now, somewhere, someone is rethinking their career choices.
Usually found: Staring into their BlackBerry like it’s a wormhole that leads to another Universe.
Good for: Taking simple tasks and turning them into 1,000 page action plans with key deliverables and footnotes.
10. Detail oriented
Translation — nitpicker. More likely to fuss over how to do something right than actually getting down to doing it. At worse, they turn into micromanagers-slash-mythological dragons and breathe fire down the necks of their oppressed subordinates. Nothing good here, move on.
Usually found: Reading product labels at the grocery store, then trying to decode the bar code with their eyes at checkout.
Good for: Asking for the shrink’s number when you get tired of yours, they probably have a directory and recommendations.
11. Early adopter
The technology equivalent of the first-day-first-show movie buff. Their chief claim to fame is that they’re the first ones to use any newly launched web service or application, almost as if they’re just sitting there Googling news — clearly very busy people with no time on their hands whatsoever.
Usually found: Browsing Google.
Good for: Conducting cute, little technology quizzes as part of company employee initiatives.
12. Visionary leader
To cut a long story short — anyone who calls themselves a visionary leader is not one.
Usually found: Writing overtly pompous things about self.
Good for: Beats me. Really don’t know. Fighting medieval battles with archers and infantry?
13. Dynamic professional
Jeez. No. Just don’t do this.
Usually found: Needing a vocabulary.
Good for: Nothing.
14. Skilled negotiator
The stereotypical high school bully. By skill, they mean, “Loud.” And by negotiation, they mean being stubborn and unyielding. Upside is that you get a half Italian mafia running through the office for crisis situations. Downside? Salary negotiations with them will probably feel like extortion.
Usually found: Arguing with someone over whether US is a state, country or continent, and winning by brute force — no matter which stance they take.
Good for: Working as a make-shift bouncer at your favorite club for when the real bouncer is down with flu.
15. Key influencer
“Of what exactly, dear Sir? What are you a key influencer of?” Some people just don’t understand the meaning of context, do they? A hot dog seller could be a key influencer too — of the supply demand chain for bread and sausages in the neighborhood. So lame.
Usually found: Being completely vague and rudderless while still trying to seem like they mean business.
Good for: Picking locks with nothing but mind power
Bonus round: Social media Guru
No, no yer not.
Image by nan palmero
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About Vishveshwar Jatain
VJ is the associate editor of wireframe. He loves writing, cooking, technology, life hacks, weird people, strange things, and his alone time. When not creating a ruckus about the rampant misuse of apostrophes, he can be found writing stories about startups, entrepreneurship and social web.