We don’t overuse words, we simply underutilize the supporting narrative

I recently decided to update my lacklustre LinkedIn profile. It has been years since I’ve summarized me or my career history, and the exercise forced me to think about the words and phrases that we use to describe ourselves. You quickly realize just how easy it is to fall into the trap of apparent clichés.

There are countless articles out there that steer us away from using certain words and phrases to define ourselves. We’re told to stay away from words like creative or innovative because they’ve been overplayed and are ineffective. But if not creative, then what? And for how long before the suggested alternate phrase become overused and cliché? Perhaps we should put the focus on constructing better narrative around these so-called cliché terms rather than simply eliminate them.

Did you know that CREATIVE was one of the Top 10 most used words on LinkedIn in 2013. Thus, it was deemed evil! Well I like the word and I’m not kicking it to the curb! I enjoy brainstorming and developing ways to improve things, and I excel at the creative process of bringing thoughts and concepts to life. This is something that defines me and the word creative works for me. Adaptable, personable, and multidisciplinary are also words that I would use to describe my strengths, and I’m sure that they’re on someone’s evil-word list!

It’s hard to believe that such wonderfully basic words could be lost simply because of overuse. Sure, we may have taken advantage of the odd adjective here and there, but we don’t have to turn our backs on them. If we do, our resumes will become full of pompous meaningless words and phrases that will eventually become cliché themselves. It’s inevitable. So, to hell with cliché. If you can support it with substance, go for it!