Most people who’ve worked for the same company for many years are accustomed to company-specific language. Most organizations use business acronyms and unique names for project teams, company initiatives, and performance awards. While this is great “shorthand” communication for your colleagues, everyone else can—understandably—be left confused.
With resume writing, you’ll need to translate your experience and accomplishments in ways that are most meaningful to hiring managers outside your specific company. It’s important to remember that your audience doesn’t work for your company and won’t be familiar with a lot of the terminology used internally.
It is also imperative to keep your audience top-of-mind during resume writing. Different companies—even within the same industry—speak their own highly specialized language, so it’s essential to use clear, universal terminology. Yes, there are definitely common industry terms that will be understood across companies and are acceptable to include in your resume. But, when in doubt, spell it out. Ask yourself, ‘Will my resume audience understand what this means?’ Better yet? Ask a friend from outside your industry to take a look.
Here are a few examples to consider:
-If you create and manage the business ROF, go with ‘rolling operating forecast.’
-If you received the OBA award from the CEO, write that you earned CEO recognition for outstanding business achievement.
-If you worked on “Project Lift,” a confidential pre-launch business initiative, state that you were appointed to a special business concept team to explore new sales channels and develop growth strategy.
-If your business was AMR, say that you outpaced market results.
-If you were a member of ALP, communicate that you were selected to participate in an Accelerated Leadership Program for high potentials.
Your goal during resume writing is to smoothly convey your message and using universally understood language will help communicate your value to hiring managers—without leaving them confused.