Are you fluent in jargon *and* English?
Matt Linderman is tired of jargon. He'd rather hear more real English, with people saying what they mean instead of trying to impress with buzzwords. If you've ever fought the urge to play Buzzword Bingo in a meeting, you'll like buzzwords say all the wrong things:
Everyone’s always implementing or enabling or optimizing or leveraging. There are endless value streams, efficiencies, solutions, infrastructures, and enterprises.
Of course, there are meaningless business buzzwords and opaque technical jargon. Rand Fishkin describes a translation skill that should be familiar to technology marketers and tech-support folks:
Our profession requires that we bridge the gap between technical jargon (that can impress and speak to a tech and search-savvy audience) and communicative, plain language that speaks to our customers.
In the job search, jargon has its place, and so does clear communication. Here are my suggestions for the appropriate time and place for jargon:
- Put relevant keywords in your résumé, blog, web site and profiles. Relevant means words that a recruiter might use in a search for appropriate candidates, including specific technical terms and job titles. Notice that fluffy verbs aren't among the popular keywords.
- Be prepared to speak clearly without resorting to jargon during interviews. You will probably interview with people outside your specialty, so you should be able to answer questions without resorting to acronyms.
- Use the appropriate level of jargon in your conversations within your specialty. Jargon exists to make communication within a field more efficient, and you should demonstrate an ability to communicate on your prospective peers' level.
- When in doubt, don't try to baffle them with bullshit.
Was that clear?