Saudi professionals give priority to skills, experience over personal strengths: Study

:: Professionals in Saudi Arabia are highlighting skills and experience over personal strengths, according to new data.

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, analyzed the most popular words in member profiles worldwide in 2017 and revealed the words “successful,” “dynamic” and “certified” have dropped out of the top 10 this year in the Kingdom compared with last year’s top 10 list.

In contrast, words like “motivated” and “focused” have entered the list for the first time. “Specialize,” “leadership” and “experienced” remain in this year’s top five.

LinkedIn’s 2017 Top 10 KSA buzzwords are: experienced, skilled, specialize, leadership, expert, motivated, responsible, excellent, focused and strategic.

To help understand the change in language and other findings in the data, LinkedIn partnered with clinical psychologist Dr. Saliha Afridi from The LightHouse Center for Wellbeing in Dubai to explain what this means for today’s jobseeker.

LinkedIn’s data shows a movement away from highlighting particular personal strengths with words such as “successful” and “driven,” toward skills and abilities that can be more specifically categorized. Afridi said: “The words from 2017 are an equal mix of performance-related ‘hard skills’ and mindset-related ‘soft skills.’

“This region is developing at a rapid pace, and governments and companies are looking for individuals who are not only strategic, experienced, and skilled but also motivated, responsible and possess leadership qualities. This is not a mix of ‘nice to have’ qualities but rather ‘critical must haves’ for businesses to succeed.”

“Expert” re-entered the top 10 in 2016, while “specialized” topped the list in both 2016 and 2017, as professionals look to verify their expertise.

“This region is looking for the top talent — people who are experts in their fields. They use the term in a broader sense to include individuals who not only have the right degree, but also the years of experience before they are hired,” Afridi said.

“As an emerging market, companies have to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time and having experts on the team reduces the time, money, and energy resources they have to spend on developing individuals for a particular position.”

The buzzwords data also reveals an increased use of the word “leadership” in recent years. The word jumped in at No. 1 in 2015’s list and has been in the top five ever since. Afridi explained: “Because of the pace of change, micro-managing is not an option. Companies are looking for individuals who are self-driven, motivated, and possess all the qualities of a good leader.”

Nada Enan, senior manager, marketing and PR, LinkedIn MENA, said: “For many, a job is no longer for life. We continually look to move on, evolve ourselves and strive for new and better opportunities. This results in a language of optimization; people ‘skill up’ and badge this on their profiles.”

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