Career Calling

July 24, 2010

Resume Language and Jargon

Filed under: Resume Writing — claycerny @ 8:27 pm
Tags: ,

How should you write a resume?  What kind of language should you use?  I recommend using the basic test for any kind of writing: Who is the audience?  Think about the people who will be reading your resume.  Will they understand or care about the language you are using?

Many clients I meet use language in their resume that is unique to their current or previous employer.  This is a big mistake.  You need to think about you next job, not the one you are leaving.  It is often possible to translate company language into terms that are used more commonly.  Ask yourself: would my new employer understand this word or term?

Jargon presents a similar problem, especially for career changers.  Using terms that are specific to an industry or profession tells an employer that you belong.  However, if you are changing professions or extending your job search beyond your current field, that same jargon signals an employer that you are limited to a certain kind of job.  The key in this situation is to show transferable skills and examples of how you are flexible and able to take on new duties.

Keep looking forward, thinking about the job you are seeking, not the one you are leaving.  Refocus your experience and achievement so they will speak to the needs of the employer you want to hire you.  Remember your audience, and you will be invited to the best kind of audition: a job interview.

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