Everyone’s passionate about saying they’re passionate.

We’re all guilty of it (yours truly, included).

From cover letters to LinkedIn profile summaries, the word “passionate” has become one of the top buzzwords of our time.

With its rank as #2 most overused word on LinkedIn, passionate has now lost its depth, sounding just as cliché as dynamic, motivated or innovative.

How do you pump back value into a word that has been thrown around so much it’s lost its meaning? How do you communicate genuine dedication to your field?

You prove it.

You can’t fix it by picking up a thesaurus. “Don’t fall into the trap of replacing buzzwords on your LinkedIn profile by swapping them with another overused word,” said Darain Faraz, a spokesman for LinkedIn Ireland. “Instead of picking up a thesaurus to find another word for motivated, include examples that illustrate how you’re motivated.”

Essentially, don’t stop at saying “I’m passionate about [insert your field here]. If you are truly committed to what you say you are passionate about, demonstrate it by further explaining how you exercise your passion.

What steps do you take to grow fervently in your industry? Do you immerse yourself in the study of your profession by taking interest in recent news and key issues? Perhaps you attend seminars and conferences to gain insights from thought leaders. Better yet, do you demonstrate thought leadership by sharing ideas and perspectives (e.g.: on a blog)? If none of these apply, it’s time to rethink the use of the word “passionate”… or at least live up to the word.

Everyone’s a passionate employee these days. What will differentiate you from everyone else is proving it. Proving your intensity by painting a picture of how you deliver on your passion.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.