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Do You Speak the Lingo?

Right or wrong, jargon is rampant in some industries

➔ When you’re preparing for an interview with a company – especially a company that’s in an unfamiliar industry, there is much more to investigate and prepare for than a meeting within an industry with which you’re familiar. As if a standard interview isn’t stressful enough.

At this point in time, the market itself is driving many 50+ job seekers to look beyond their tried and true for greener pastures in another line of work. Career changers are increasingly common – some by chance, some by choice. And there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that.

Unchartered waters

If you’re preparing for a job interview, there is so much to learn. And if you’ve made the choice to switch careers, and you’re interviewing with a company outside your comfort zone of skills and industry, it’s especially challenging.

Among the things for which you had better prepare are the peculiarities of that job or industry, and not the least among these are language. Over the years, many jobs and many industries have developed their own jargon, idioms and buzzwords.

If you can demonstrate your familiarity with these terms and practices, that just might be enough to set you apart from other candidates. But it’s going to take work. Maybe reviewing articles in industry trade journals. Better yet, engage in conversations with people already in that industry – something you should be doing anyway, and don’t be afraid to call them out when something seems odd or out of place.

Of course the reverse is true as well. One of the more basic pieces of advice for resume writers is to avoid using acronyms in your resume. You can’t assume that the person reading it will be familiar with the organization (or whatever the acronym represents.)

It all comes back to that magic word: communication. If you can’t communicate with a prospective employer, how do you ever expect them to hire you?

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