Acronyms serve many good purposes in a resume. The best way to use acronyms is to spell them out the first time you use them: “Led the Global Commodities Group (GCG).” However, some acronyms are so well know (such as CEO for Chief Executive Officer) that you can skip the spelled-out version: “Worked directly with CEO on mergers and acquisitions (M&A).”
Here are the best reasons for using acronyms in your resume:
- Use an acronym to prepare for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that may be set up to look for either acronyms or the spelled out version. For example, an ATS may search for IoT and/or Internet of Things. By defining the acronym, you are ready for both cases.
- Use an acronym in case a recruiter searches on the acronym only, not the spelled out version. This is most likely for acronyms like P&L (for profit and loss).
- Use an acronym when it saves space in a resume. For example, if you already have mentioned in the resume that you work in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), you may use the acronym EMEA in future references to that area.
- Use an acronym that appears in a job announcement—such as SaaS or MBA.
- Use an acronym if it is very well-known in your field or more commonly used than the actual words –for example, IT for information technology.
Whenever you use an acronym, make sure that you:
- Are consistent: if the acronym for the Strategic Investment Team is SIT, do not switch to SI team.
- Are clear about what the acronym stands for: FDA is most likely the Food and Drug Administration but it also has a lot of other definitions, including the Florida Dental Association.
- Control the number of acronyms: the more acronyms, the harder your resume will be to read.
- Are using the correct acronym: especially with associations and companies, make doubly sure you have abbreviated the name correctly.
Whenever you are in doubt about an acronym, spell it out. For guidance in creating a readable resume, please contact Robin’s Resumes® today.