De-jargon your CV!

11 February 2020

By Sarah Knight

De-jargon your CV!

If you de-jargon your CV, you'll increase the changes of getting an interview.

Have you really studied your CV? Does it include words that others are going to struggle to understand? First things first, what’s the definition of jargon? Jargon’s defined as “special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand”.

How does your CV read?

Whether you’re transitioning from a career in the forces or you’re changing industries, if your CV or skill set is difficult to understand it’s quite likely that your application will quickly be rejected.

Typically, you have around ten seconds to get the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager. They won’t call you to clarify the detail on the CV, they are more likely to assume you don’t have the skills to do the role or lack the ability to commute in writing. Either way you don’t make the cut and risk being overlooked for interview simply as the reader simply doesn’t understand what you’re saying.

What do you need to do to increase your chances of an interview?

Increase your chances of an interview by ‘de-jargoning’ your CV and removing any industry talk and acronyms. This will make your CV as ‘reader friendly’ as possible.

Ideally, get a business contact or friend, who doesn’t work in your industry, to read your CV and give you some honest feedback. Ask them if they understand it. Or even better, get them to read your CV and then explain to you their understanding of what your job is. If their explanation isn’t quite right, it’s clear you have some rewriting to do.

Big words and acronyms don’t impress hiring managers – clear, honest and concise content does.

The Guardian careers section also has information that you might find useful.​

Share this article