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The Dangers of Using Jargon

by Suzie McInerney

The danger of too much jargon

A recent Forbes article pointed the finger at the increasing use of jargon, and it made me laugh. Although the article was light-hearted in intent, it rings very true and provides a timely reminder for all of us.

I often see jargon on CVs and hear it during interviews, and most of the time, I think it should be avoided. Internal jargon rarely means anything to anyone else, particularly those outside the business.

Your objective in writing a resume, or participating in an interview, is to be as explanatory as possible while being succinct, not to bamboozle someone with jargon.

In my time as a specialist consultant in the FMCG marketing space, I have seen and heard a lot of jargon, but here are the top five:

  • End to end responsibilities
  • Virtual team management
  • The sales 'piece', or the marketing 'piece'
  • Collaborative and inclusive style
  • Hit a development ceiling

And I'm sure there are others!

So when you are preparing for interviews, make sure you don't fall into the jargon trap.

Build credibility by getting to the point and explaining yourself in commonly used terms that even your Grandma would understand. Often the "fluff" just serves to distract from your actual intent, and your message is diluted.

What jargon is used in your business?