Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

Is Your Shorthand Language Making You a Mediocre Candidate?

2010-10-13 17:28:36

A few weeks ago, I was invited to write a guest blog post for JobMob, an international job search site based out of Israel. It was a contest and I actually captured 4th place. Granted I'm repurposing the post, but I still think it's a valid insight from you.

A friend of mine in her 40's is just finishing up her PhD. Her focus is very much on the Digital Native generation (GenY, the Millenials) both in her research and her teaching. She posted a Facebook update that she has noticed that her written communications have become short and abbreviated, due to her heavy use of Twitter, texting her teenage son and her students, and using more shorthand in our connected world.

My comment to her was that her communication skills are degrading, from a business perspective.

I've noticed this more and more in the last few years as texting shorthand has become more prevalent and as IM is becoming more of preferred communication tool in the workplace. And I have to say, there is no excuse for poor language skills in any professional setting.

It is one of the red flags that will differentiate a top candidate from a mediocre one.

From a job seeking perspective, most candidates stop at considering resumes/CV's and cover letters for their communications. But in today's tight global economy, recruiters and hiring managers are using tools like social media platforms as additional screening opportunities.

For example, if you have a Facebook or LinkedIn profile and you use texting shorthand, that screams that you aren't really discerning about your external branding. The same with a blog. If you don't use proper grammar (one of the biggest examples I see of this in English is not capitalizing 'I' to indicate the first person) and full, correctly spelled words then it indicates that you are more casual and somewhat sloppy in your work life.

I belong to several groups on LinkedIn for both professional and personal interests. All these groups have discussion boards, and when someone posts a long response to an article or question and doesn't bother to communicate in formal, business English, I admit to immediately having a negative impression of them, regardless of the content of the response.

So from a recruiting perspective, make sure that all your external written communications are tight, professional and convey a sense of maturity and gravity. Save the shorthand for your actual texting and social interactions

Read more at:

The Problem With Buzz Words
Resume - Education vs. Professional Development

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