I can barely believe I am writing this post. Sadly, I am seeing more and more applications with ‘text talk’. It looks dreadful, does not give the reader a terribly good impression and will do nothing to advance you in a job search.
I’m all for technology, in fact I love it! Yes, I use text talk on my mobile phone and on Twitter, both places where it is perfectly acceptable to ‘abbreviate’ your message when you have limited character spaces.
Professional written communication, including your resume, cover letters, emails and online application forms, are not the appropriate forums for text talk.
If you do it, then you do so at your own risk.
In my business I offer critiques of resumes and am absolutely astounded at the number of people using these abbreviations in the very documents they are hoping to impress employers with. And it is on the rise from what I have seen landing in my inbox.
Below are some examples of the ‘text talk’ that has come across my desk in the past few weeks. These are excerpts from actual resumes and cover letters!!!
Does ur ad close 2mor?
I wld like the chance to meet u in person 4 a i/v :-0
I’m a grad w 1 yr caz work exp
I am avail a/t 4 interview
I need to find WRK …
You can CM on the numbers listed at the top
FYI, also completed a grp project at Uni on same
I am seeing it most of all from younger candidates and it’s scary!
Is it really that difficult to spell the word ‘for’ instead of ‘4’, ‘you’ instead of ‘u’, ‘interview’ instead of ‘i/v?
No, it isn’t.
Besides, you appear downright lazy to employers.
I understand that Gen Ys and Gen Zs text a lot and these abbreviations have become a language in itself – but not for professional documents.
Come on people, your resume is one of the most important documents you will ever have … you can’t treat it like a joke.
And that is what text talk turns your resume into – a joke.
Graduates dismay me the most. They are searching for work in one the most competitive markets, up against hundreds if not thousands of other graduates, with little or no experience – they do it tough when it comes to the job hunt and have to work exceptionally hard to secure an opportunity.
I honestly can’t believe that they’re not smart enough to understand that text talk is inappropriate when looking for work.
Many employers scoff when they come across text talk in a resume, and immediately discard the application. Imagine you are the employer, working hard in a business environment where communication matters. Would you want someone who can’t even spell out a word for their resume dealing with your written communications? No, of course not. Other roles may not require you to communicate in writing with customers or clients, but what about your colleagues and internal customers?
Communication is a big part of our day-to-day lives and in the work environment it has to be just that – professional.
Text talk or social media abbreviations do not belong in your job search materials.
If you’re truly serious about your search for employment, you must be professional in every aspect of your efforts.
© Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant
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