Be Specific in Your Online Resume

Improve your online presence by writing about specific accomplishments and experiences instead of relying on overused phrases. Here's how.

Lisa B. Marshall,
March 19, 2013

When you look at your professional online presence, ask yourself: Are your accomplishment adjectives specific? Or have you written that you have “extensive experience”? Or that you are “motivated,” “results oriented,” or “dynamic”? Unfortunately, those words don’t make you unique or stand out. And according to LinkedIn Analytics (which recently released a report), those phrases are the most overused.

Instead of using vague adjectives that leave your online presence under-powered, try to be more specific. Choose words that inform and describe your skills, experiences, and accomplishments more accurately. If you are “innovative,” explain why; if you are “dynamic,” explain how.


To do this, think about your accomplishments—did you create a new innovative system? Then explain the details as an example. Did you act appropriately in an emergency situation? Explain it to show responsibility and level-headedness. Elaborate on your experiences to add context and concrete evidence of your talents.

But don’t include all your stories; you’ll want only include one or two of your best to inspire interest in you. Save the rest of your stories for in-person meetings.

Check out more helpful tips on presenting yourself well in Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation.