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Go look at your resume right now. Is it loaded with undefined acronyms and industry jargon? Are you convinced “everyone” knows exactly what you mean?  Time for a reality check.

You don’t know who is doing the initial screening of resumes. It could be someone who understands the significance of the verbiage used. Or it could be a temp brought in to sort through hundreds of documents with no prior knowledge of the industry or the vernacular. True, someone in your industry, in your profession, will probably know the common acronyms. But there’s no guarantee someone in your profession is doing the first pass read through of submitted documents.

If you’re using acronyms and not defining them, you risk being missed in applicant tracking system (ATS) searches. You don’t know whether the search will be driven by the words defining the acronym or by the acronym itself. Having both definitions doubles your chances of popping up in a search. Or you could be overlooked by the human with no idea when you used QC you meant “quality control” not Quebec, Canada.

For more information about alphabet soup and communication barriers, please read Dawn Bugni’s post on the topic.

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