Using Jargon In Your Resumes

Using Jargon In Your ResumesWhen it comes producing effective and engaging resumes, there are many “rules” to follow, from getting rid of your photographs to being as detailed as you can about your past achievements.

Good resume writing often takes plenty of time, effort and skill and one of the most common issues my resumes writers encounter when working with executives is whether or not they should use jargon in their resumes.

Do Resume Writing & Jargon Go Together?

Using jargon in your resumes has no real benefit for you as a job seeker. Some candidates assume that using jargon and technical terminology in their resumes will demonstrate their aptitude for the industry or will somehow make them appear “smarter” on paper and therefore more appealing to employers.

Yet what a lot of candidates fail to realise is that quality resume writing is all about translating jargon, as well as other abbreviations and terminology, into plain English and easily understandable business concepts. There are many reasons for this:

  • Most recruitment agents, search consultants and HR managers won’t be overly familiar with the jargon used in your industry or field. Including jargon in your resumes, especially when applying through an agency, can create confusion and can mean that you miss out on being selected for an interview.
  • A lot of the time, your resume will not go straight to the person who is going to interview and/or hire you. Instead, it will likely pass through a “gate keeper,” who will review your resume first. This gate keeper will likely be a recruitment consultant or a lower level employee in the organisation who may not understand industry jargon.
  • Employers generally want to see evidence of what you can do for an organisation. They are more interested in the value and expertise you can bring to the role, rather than on what technical skills you have. If you do have extensive technical skills, you can discuss these in the job interview.
  • Recruiters and employers will not be won over by jargon. If you think that filling up your resume with jargon is enough to impress an employer and win you an interview, you should rethink your resume writing approach. Recruiters and employers will be able to see through any ‘jargon tactics’ you are using and will most likely be unimpressed with your efforts.

Is ANY Jargon OK to Use?

Resume writing rules are not always set in stone, however, and there can be some instances when jargon may be suitable to include in your resume.

If you do need to use any jargon or abbreviations, you should make sure that they do not saturate your resume document. This can make you come across as unprofessional and trying too hard to impress the reader.

  • You can use some industry jargon or terminology if it is listed in the job description. If this is the case, the employer will usually expect you to directly address the criteria, which means you should use the same terms they have included.
  • Some specialised professions may require the use of jargon in order to demonstrate the capabilities and achievements of the candidate. This usually applies to very specific fields, such as medical, scientific, legal or technology niches. In these instances, you should ensure that your resume contains a strong balance between plain English and jargon.
  • If you are using any abbreviations or acronyms, replace these with a full name or title instead. Avoid including the abbreviation or acronym in brackets after the full name, unless you are going to be using the shortened term frequently throughout your document.
  • Make sure you avoid any jargon or terms that are specific to your current company. Large organisations often develop their own, internal vocabulary to give their projects and responsibilities definition. However, don’t assume that anyone outside of your company will understand these terms. Instead, translate these terms so that they make sense to people who know nothing about your organisation.

Not sure if your resume has too much jargon? Contact our resume writers at Resumes Australia for a complete audit and review of your resume. Remember, the better your resume is, the more success you’ll have!


kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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