'Responsible'! 'Patient'! The Most Popular Buzzwords on LinkedIn Profiles

Derek Thompson
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LinkedIn combed through 259 million profiles and ranked the most commonly-used words among 20 countries. Number one, by a long ways, was responsible, which was twice was popular as any other word on the list. Here is the list:

1. Responsible 

2. Strategic

3. Creative  

4. Effective

5. Patient

6. Expert

7.  Organizational  

8. Driven

9. Innovative 

10. Analytical 

And here's the map:

The most interesting finding? Patient, which is the fifth most-used buzzword in the world, appears in the top ten in only one country: ours. In fact, American profiles mention patience so much that we account for 50 percent of its worldwide mentions. Either we are uncommonly patient, or we think our fellow Americans are so impatient that it's a distinguishing quality. (The latter, certainly.)

Sustainable only made the top ten in the Netherlands. Enthusiastic only made the UK's list. Passionate is top-ten only in Australia and New Zealand. 

LinkedIn's report calls these words "overused." But the trouble with responsible is that it (a) is an essential quality, and (b) has no obvious synonyms. Trustworthy? You sound like an exceptional pet dog. Dependable? You sound like a car service, or perhaps a light bulb. Sensible? You sound like a moderately priced shoe. Mature? Just ... no.

We ought to be more patient with responsible.

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