Ask a Coach

Q: Can I use acronyms in my resume?

A: You can use acronyms in your resume, but you'll also want to make sure that the person reading your resume understands what you're referring to. It's tempting to think that the person reading your resume will understand the acronyms, especially if you're applying to a position in the same agency. However, that's not always the case so it's important to write out the acronym to cover your bases. Make sure you write out the acronym and put the acronym in parentheses the first time you use it in your resume and the first time you use it in each entry in your experience section. You can then use the acronym in all subsequent uses.

For example, the first time you use LTSO you'll write: Lead Transportation Security Officer (LTSO). For all subsequent uses you'll just write LTSO.

Stand Out From the Crowd During Your Interview

Think about the people you interact with on a regular basis. What assumptions do they make about you? Whether you realize it or not, the moment you step out of the vehicle or into the office is the moment that you are on display.

Soft Skills Defined

From the second you arrive, your soft skills are on display. Soft skills involve evaluating your personality. This allows interviewers to evaluate a person's ability to interact effectively with co-workers and customers both in and outside the workplace.

Soft skills include attitude, communication style, time management and critical thinking, just to name a few. Your total communication image is the result of bringing all five of the following components together into one powerful package to showcase your skills. Each part helps you express yourself to your fullest potential.

Body Language and Looking Confident

Nonverbal language speaks louder than the spoken word or the tone your words are spoken in. Interviews depend upon your ability to liven up what you're saying nonverbally. Every gesture or movement should amplify the important point you're making. This isn't a time for excessive hand movement or shaking of the legs.

If you find yourself in this situation, ensure you're properly seated in the chair with your knees bent and your feet rested flat on the floor with your hands folded in your lap. This allows you to look confident and in control while maintaining good posture.

Telling Your Story to Influence Audiences

Using positive language means verbally putting your best foot forward. Demonstrate you know how to get your point across by selecting the right words and using them effectively. If you do, listeners will perceive you as a person who knows how to get the job done. It might help to practice out loud so you can hear where you need to change the language you're using so it resonates with and moves your listeners.

Eye Contact and Connecting with Your Listeners

It's important that you're able to maintain good eye contact and connect with your listeners when speaking. Glancing away periodically is ok, but redirect your attention to the listener after a few seconds to show you're attentive and engaged.

Directing and Channeling Your Energy

Be aware of the energy you're projecting. Make sure you go into the interview with a positive attitude, which produces positive energy. Interviewers can detect negativity, which can hinder your performance during the interview and will make them think you don't really want the position.

Effective Timing and Pacing of the Presentation

The rate of speech is the speed or tempo at which words are spoken in a given time frame. If you stay within a general range when you speak, you allow the interviewer to pace themselves when they listen to you. Once you've answered a question and there is total silence, don't feel the need to continue to talk if you've completely answered the question. A little silence is OK.

Remember, assumptions are made immediately. The above skills you master contribute to the impression that you communicate effectively.