Writing a blog on BNET, the CBS Interactive business network, (http://www.bnet.com/blog/small-biz-advice/8-words-that-should-never-appear-in-your-twitter-bio/1752#ixzz1Qm50ze6D), Jeff Hayden revealed that, after some extensive research into Twitter users’ biographies, he dislikes the following – over-used – words:

  1. ‘Passionate’ You can have one passion. Four ‘passions’ are interests. And can anyone truly be passionate about ‘delivering lasting customer value’, ‘teaching small businesses to harness the power of social media’ or ‘providing lasting solutions to common business problems’?
  2. ‘Authority’ As Margaret Thatcher said: “Power is like being a lady; if you have to say you are, you aren’t.”  If you have to say you’re an authority, you aren’t. Show your expertise instead. ‘Speaker at TED Conference’ indicates a level of authority. ‘Social media authority’ reads as ‘I spend too much time on Facebook.’
  3. ‘Workaholic’ has negative connotations and implies tremendous effort without tangible results. Potential customers don’t care how much you work. They care about what you get done.
  4. ‘Guru’, ‘sage’, ‘connoisseur’, ‘guerilla’, ‘whiz’, ‘ninja’ and other allegedly clever descriptors.
  5. ‘Serial entrepreneur’ A few people start multiple, successful, long-term businesses. They truly are serial entrepreneurs. If you have two or three successes under your belt, listing them can be powerful. If not, just say what you do now.
  6. ‘Technologist’ Many people who claim to be ‘technologists’ are interested in technology – but not technologists. If you use scientific knowledge to solve practical problems, share an example. Otherwise just say, ‘I love my new iPad 2.’
  7. ‘Strategist’ Strategists look at the present, envision something different and develop approaches to make their vision a reality. Very few people are strategists. Most ‘strategists’ are coaches, specialists or consultants who use what they know to help others. 99% of the time that’s what customers need. They don’t need a strategist. Be who you are.
  8. ‘Unique’ We’re all individuals; different, and unique — and we all know it. ‘Unique’ means nothing. Say why you’re better.

Comment: Jeff offers some useful advice here. My guess is that we all have a lot of sympathy with these sentiments. Yet it’s equally certain that these eight inappropriate words will still be used – and over-used – in biographies. Strange, isn’t it?