New buzzwords a sign of changing times

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Recent data suggests Kiwi jobseekers are adopting different terminology in 2018 and one industry expert says it could be a response to the rapidly changing employment space.

According to research from professional networking site LinkedIn, New Zealand professionals are highlighting skills and experience over personal strengths when it comes to describing themselves.
The company analysed the most popular words in member profiles and found that the word ‘innovative’ has dropped out of this year’s top 10 list of New Zealand buzzwords.

While ‘specialise’, ‘passionate’ and ‘experienced’ remain in the top three, ‘innovative’ and ‘successful’ have completely disappeared from this year’s list.
The top 10 list of LinkedIn buzzwords is as follows:
  • Experienced
  • Specialise
  • Passionate
  • Skilled
  • Leadership
  • Motivated
  • Strategic
  • Expert
  • Creative
  • Focused
Shiva Kumar, LinkedIn’s head of brand and communications in Australia and New Zealand, said the change comes as many professionals seek to highlight their capabilities over attributes.

“Job tenures are getting shorter for many New Zealand professionals and we are seeing the rise of gig workers who take on multiple jobs,” said Kumar.

“The language we use to promote ourselves to find the next career opportunity is shifting from highlighting particular personal strengths, towards skills and abilities that can be more specifically categorised,” he continued.

LinkedIn also partnered with sociolinguist expert, Professor Rodney Jones to gain a greater understanding of what the change means from an employment perspective.

“This narrowing down from generic terms to words such as ‘skilled’ and ‘strategic’ reflects a change in job roles that are becoming more specific and experience-driven,” he said.

“Roles in the banking and pharma sector, for example, are under increasing scrutiny and as a result require more verifiable skills and attributes.”

Globally, there was also an increase in the use of ‘leadership’ and Jones suggested this could be a result of reduced hierarchy within organisations with even junior members now expected to demonstrate leadership skills.


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