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


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 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.

Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email

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

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For further information please contact Lucy Sharp, Regional Head of Marketing at Hays, on +61 2 8226 9885 or



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