Daily Tip: Don’t Load Your Résumé With Jargon

If you’re applying for a programming or developer gig with a large company, chances are pretty good that your résumé will need to find its way through at least one layer of HR staffers before ending up on the desk of a hiring manager or a division head. And while that manager or division head might understand the complicated technical jargon that defines the job for which you’re applying, it’s likely that the HR staffer who first looks at your résumé won’t know the difference between, for example, C++ and Perl.

In light of that, it pays to keep your résumé as light as possible on the technical jargon: list your skills and programming languages, summarize projects you’ve done, but save the deep stuff for the interview.

“Track down, identify and resolve technical issues while collaborating with fellow designers and programmers,” is a good résumé bullet-point.

“Applied advanced statistical techniques to create and/or update predictive models for use in claims, pricing, strategy, underwriting, etc.,” could also work.

But something like, “Mastery of source code revelation, remote file inclusion, session hijacking, cross site request forgery (CSRF) and directory traversal; familiarity with Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)” might prove a bit much: There’s too many technical terms, and not enough description for why your mastery of said terms makes you right for the job at hand.

When in doubt, pare back the technical terms within your job summaries in favor of describing as succinctly as possible how you (positively) impacted your previous job. If you do feel the urge to sprinkle them throughout your résumé, look to the “Skills” section.

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