Is Your Resume Drowning In Jargon?

We’re all guilty.  Jargon is ubiquitous in our writing and cutting back is as hard as turning down a piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.  It seems even harder in the healthcare IT field because we are combining two notoriously buzzword-heavy fields. Phrases like “synergy,” “space,” and “outside the box” are just the beginning of overused and empty sayings.  Don’t get me wrong, I think jargon has its place, but just like sugar has its place in food, we all need to cut back, especially in our resumes.

It takes a lot of discipline to write and even more so, speak, without relying on easy to use phrases that make us look like we are “in the know.”  We all want to gain acceptance or seem like an insider but at some point words that were at one time meaningful, have become abstract.  Even the word “meaningful” has become less meaningful to me now that using anything in healthcare IT must be meaningful.  No doubt I’ve confused you.  That’s my point.

I see a lot of resumes where the executive summary starts with something like this, “Innovative, dynamic, and engaging leader who thinks outside the box to facilitate solutions in the healthcare IT arena.”  Of course not many people would write, “Introverted, low-energy, follower who stays in the box and will not come up with any solutions in any arena.”

Creating “synergy” and “breaking down silos” are just an easy way to “leverage” the “low hanging fruit” when it comes to writing something that people in our field understand.  The issue is if everyone says the same thing to describe themselves in a CV, profile, or resume, do you really stand out? You can do better, write more clearly and stand out by just taking 30 minutes on your resume.  In the future you’ll also begin to think about the jargon in your presentations and conversations.  Don’t let it drive you crazy though.

I encourage you to look at your resume and read it from the perspective of someone who may look at 50 of them in a day. Cut some of the abstract industry speak and focus on what you have done, details and key numbers of a specific project.  I too am committing myself to trimming my addiction to such words and phrases so please don’t beat me up too much for a previous blog or statement where I’ve used the words like seamless or critical mass!

About the author


Carter Groome

Carter Groome is a Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of First Choice Professionals LLC. He brings fourteen years of healthcare information technology management, consulting, and sales leadership experience to the company.

1 Comment

  • Thanks for the fun post, Carter. I love words and I love thinking about them especially on a resume. If everyone is innovative, then isn’t everybody actually not innovative?

    Totally off topic, take the word pickle. A pickle is a pickled cucumber that has it’s own designation. Why don’t we have names for pickled asparagus or pickled beans? You can get into trouble in a real pickle, but you can’t get into a pickled asparagus.

    Don’t you love words?!

Click here to post a comment