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Don’t blur the communication lines: Keep social media jargon outside the workplace


Updated: 14 Apr 2016

Acronyms such as ‘TTYS’ (talk to you soon), AFAIK (as far as I know), ‘bgd’ (background), ‘cre8’ (create) and ‘b4’ (before) have become commonplace on social media – but recruiting experts Hays in China warns that using them in your CV or cover letter can hinder your job search. 

According to Hays, chances are that using such acronyms outside social media sites paints a certain picture of the sender, and it’s not a good one. 

“Acronyms and colloquialisms are common place in the world of social media, but – and this can come as a shock to Millennials who have grown up with social media – in the world of work they are frowned upon and can even damage your reputation,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.  

“Social media jargon in business communication, including job applications, is seen as grammatical laziness by many employers. Even worse, given that it is a business no-no it also points to your inexperience in the workplace. As a result, you appear unprofessional and naive about the world of work and this can harm your chances of a successful job search.   

“That’s why we advise new entrants to the jobs market and workplace to keep social media jargon out of their business-related communications. In messages to your recruiter, boss, work colleagues, clients or suppliers be professional in your writing style at all times.  Don’t blur the lines between formal and informal written communication styles.  

“Yes social media is used by the business world as an important communication tool, but that doesn’t mean that the workplace has adopted its flexible writing style for all business communication,” Christine said. 

This includes your professional social media profiles. “Maintaining a professional online profile is vital to enhancing your reputation, and is particularly crucial when more employers are searching social networks for insights into the candidates they’re considering hiring,” says Christine. “My advice for your online professional profile is the same as for your offline content; keep it professional by removing unnecessary acronyms and jargon. You should also adjust your security settings so only your private network can see your personal social media, and check privacy settings regularly so you know what’s going public in your name.” 

So make a good first impression in your CV, cover letter, online professional profile and in the workplace by getting your basic grammar right and leave the social media jargon for outside work.   

In China Hays operates from four local offices: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. 

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.


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About Hays

Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.  

Hays Specialist Recruitment  (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing. 

Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company. As at 31 December 2014 Hays employed 8,748 staff operating from 244 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2014, Hays placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments. 24% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific. 

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.