A plethora of academics use baroque vernacular to articulate significance. Huh?  Let’s try that again.  A large number of students use big words to try to sound important.  Does it work?  Not really, according to Inc.com.   The reason you should probably ditch your thesaurus? You want your writing to be inclusive and appeal to a large audience.

Using unnecessary big words can often hinder your message from spreading because readers want to read something quickly and easily.  They do not want to pull out their dictionaries to decipher what was said.

This is particularly relevant to job seekers.  I have seen numerous cover letters that are sprinkled with large, unnecessary words that bring back memories of spelling bees and ACT tests.  I have also proofread networking introduction emails that have made me cringe with the obvious use of flowery language that somehow makes the writer seem less confident and more vulnerable.  Definitely not a good message to portray when you are job seeking.

Aside from wasting a recruiter or hiring manager’s precious time (typically recruiters spend on average 10 seconds per resume/cover letter combo), it takes away from the job seeker’s authenticity.  When you use words that you normally wouldn’t, you aren’t portraying your true voice or brand.  Recruiters pick up on this and dismiss your application materials and with that you as a candidate.

So, next time you are tempted to highlight the thesaurus icon on your word document, really ask yourself if the word you are replacing needs an overhaul.  My guess is probably not.  You are better off, as the article states, being like Apple and keeping it simple to appeal to the masses.

One Response

  1. carol aela

    I think that this is some really useful tip that everyone should take into consideration! I had times when was really think that as pompous my cover letter sounds, as more possibilities are going to come on my way. But you said it so right, the”flowery language” is not in the best interest of the job seeker, especially when he is trying to portray an image of someone he actually is not. So I am going to be like Apple from now on :) thanks for the smart post!