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Is your CV strewn with jargon?

Andrew Arkley

Juggling Jargon – half of job applicants admit to using words they don’t know the true meaning of, reveals survey. Contributor Andrew Arkley – Purple CV.

One-third of employees have used business jargon in a meeting without fully understanding the meaning; 81 percent of employers say that a job candidate using a word in the wrong sense is unforgivable; 77 percent of managers would be more likely to hire a candidate who uses a wide and varied vocabulary.

With new words released recently by the Oxford English Dictionary, it’s important to try keep up with times – without sounding like a total bampot – especially if you’re on the hunt for a new job.

Purple CV, wanted to find out how Brits would score when tested on their vocabulary skills, and jargon in the workplace. They conducted a survey of 3,000 Brits and found that when tested on The Oxford English Dictionary’s updated words, they achieved an average score of just 56 percent! 

Perhaps people in the North West of England should brush up on their vocabulary as when compared across the UK, it was found that they scored the lowest on average at 50 percent. It seems Scots, on the other hand, are more clued up scoring 69 percent on average.

Purple CV asked job applicants some follow-up questions about their understanding and use of words when applying for potential jobs. One-fifth said they consciously use industry-appropriate jargon in their CVs in order to catch the eye of a potential employer. Knowledge is power, it appears, as 43 percent of applicants feel it is important to learn the industry jargon before beginning your first job.

The survey also found that 53% of Brits have admitted to using a word in a sentence without knowing its true meaning. On a more uplifting note, however, 47% of respondents are constantly trying to improve and expand their vocabulary, showing a keen willingness to keep up with the times.

The survey also asked British employees about how well they understand industry talk in their workplace. 1/3 admitted to using business jargon in an interview without fully understanding its meaning and half of respondents said they have sat through a work meeting without understanding the business jargon being used.

First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to job interviews. The study found that 77% of managers would be more likely to hire a candidate who uses a wide and varied vocabulary, and 81% of employers say that a job candidate using a word in the wrong sense is unforgivable. Interestingly, 55% of managers say they dislike slang or abbreviations being used in the workplace.

Healthcare professionals, it appears, are not that clued up on their industry jargon with almost one-third of employees saying they don’t always understand the terms used in their field – not that reassuring to hear considering they often hold our lives in their hands! Those in IT, however, seem to know the least with 68% admitting they don’t always know what’s cracking in meetings (and who can blame them – hands up if anyone knows what a Recursive Pyramid Algorithm is?!).

‘It’s important to know how to communicate effectively and appropriately in your field of work,’ says Andrew Arkley from Purple CV.

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