You may not recognize it, but your organization likely has its own language. Sometimes company speak aligns with broader corporate lingo and sometimes it is so specific to an organization that it is almost completely removed from common business vernacular (Microsoft employees, government contractors, and Service Members, I am talking directly to you).
When it comes to marketing yourself externally (via a resume or LinkedIn profile, for example), this can create some really big issues. To successfully market yourself, you need to be especially aware of how the language you use sounds to audiences outside of your company. Here are a few reasons why:
- Too much organization-specific lingo will make it challenging for readers to grasp your role and impact. Remember that readers of your resume and LinkedIn profile are not about to take the time to translate complicated company speak; they will simply move on.
- Overuse of internal jargon can send the message that you’re so deep into your current company’s specific culture that you might have difficulty assimilating into a new culture.
- Some of the terms that are perfectly acceptable to use when speaking with co-workers sound very silly when you are “off campus.” For example, I recently read a resume that included the term “co-developed a magic new product…” Magic may work if you're in Apple’s marketing department, but it will sound a little off to most readers.
As I’ve shared before, a little jargon is not a bad thing. It let’s readers in your same industry know that you are an insider. However, a little goes a long way. Make sure that readers can 1) quickly grasp what you offer and 2) don’t need a corporate Rosetta Stone to figure out what you're saying.