Are you creative, effective and motivated? Top buzzwords on resumes

TORONTO – If you’re selling yourself in your professional profile as creative and effective – not to mention motivated – you have company.

The professional online network LinkedIn says these are the most overused professional buzzwords among its more than four million members in Canada.

The word combinations that show up fourth, fifth and sixth on the list are extensive experience, problem solving, and track record.

Manager of corporate communications Danielle Restivo says creative wasn’t even on the list last year in Canada, but it now leads not only here, but also in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K., and the United States.

Restivo says that if everyone uses the word creative, it starts to become diluted and you won’t stand out.

Rather, she suggests giving concrete descriptions of what you’ve accomplished in your career to show your abilities.

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“So, for example, if you’re a sales professional, you achieved above your quota every quarter of the year,” she said in an interview. “If you’re a marketing professional, you created a really interesting program that really changed perceptions about the way people felt about a brand – things like that that really set you apart.”

She said that last year in Canada, “extensive experience” was the top overused buzzword.

This year, the top 10 was rounded out by the words innovative, communication skills, dynamic and interpersonal skills.

LinkedIn has more than 135 million members worldwide. In Canada, it has grown from about three million members at this time last year to more than four million now.

“We have access to some really interesting data in those professional profiles. We like to be able to look through that data and analyze it, and then send back to our members information that’s going to help them become more productive and successful at their jobs,” Restivo said.

The company advises users to ensure their online professional profile is complete, and includes all the roles they’ve had.

Restivo said in Canada, more than 500 customers use LinkedIn to recruit people.

“We do know that hiring managers are very active using social media, and particularly LinkedIn, to look people up, to look at them for roles, and even if they’re interviewing someone, to check out their profile to get a sense of who they are as part of the job recommendation process.”

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Top 10 Most Overused Buzzwords. 


  1. Extensive experience
  2. Innovative
  3. Motivated
  4. Results-oriented
  5. Dynamic
  6. Proven track record
  7. Team player
  8. Fast-paced
  9. Problem solver
  10. Entrepreneurial