U can save it 4 the chat room

On MSN, Martha Brockenbrough asks: "Does IM Make U Dum?"

I've received e-mail resume submissions from people where I swear I was hearing from Prince (hey some of you are my age and know what I'm talking about, right?). As Martha explains, the appropriateness of "Internet-speak" is contextual. This should never happen (but it does):


Plz find my resume attached 4 U 2 review.

I've found myself becoming comfortable with the occasional emoticon, despite my initial dislike of them (too cutesy...though Dave Barry makes them funny here). I really can't get beyond  : ) and ; ). They actually help people like me who have been told they are "too direct" in e-mail to soften it up a bit. ; ) Besides, it would sound weird to say "I am winking at you now" at work. I'm just saying.

But when letters or numbers are substituted for perfectly good words? And when the purpose of the communication is to introduce yourself as a job prospect? I wouldn't advise it.


Comments (8)

  1. The Pageman says:

    hi heather,

    sometimes it’s not just the chat room, sometimes it’s the SMS/Text phenomenon. I’ve seen scores of emails with very lengthy treatises using abbreviated word phrases normally used in SMS/Text. The weird part is that I do understand it and I don’t blink anymore …. 🙂

  2. Paul says:

    U R right. But trying too hard to impress can also backfire.

    I recall one resume I received where the author asserted that they were bilingual in two languages. It made me stop for longer than the customary 15 seconds while I scratched my head trying to decipher the meaning. Were they trying to say that they knew two dialects of English and another two of Spanish, four different languages, two languages, or that they were marginally unilingual in one language?

    Ultimately, I decided they were probably illiterate in all languages and filed the resume accordingly. On the other hand, I remember that person’s document more than 15 years later, and barely a thing about many others I looked at.

    R U ROTFL?

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Pageman…I have to admit that I have not yet explored text messaging (I have a thing about being avail 24×7…not good for my work/life balance). But yep, you are right…it’s creeping into other areas!

    Paul- oh yes, the humor resumes. Guess that person was trying to over state his case! I have a few of those stuck in my mind as well! ANything with stickers on it got my attention ; )

  4. Tim says:

    On a related note, someone here forwarded my boss a resume for a Recruiter that had (and I am not kidding) an exclamation point after every single sentence in her cover e-mail. ("I’m so excited about Aquent!", "Can’t wait to hear from you!").

    Like emoticons, it’s just a being a little too familiar with a prospective employer.

    By the way, Susie, my boss was urged to meet this woman and she hired the woman the next day (and she is about as far from an exclamation point abuser as you could imagine).

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Tim-maybe that’s a testament: employee referrals can overcome exclamation point abuse!!!

  6. liek omg!!!111 u got my rez i thot u wud hire me!!!!1111 lolol wats up?? 😛

    plz I wud b gr8 4 microsoft lol u hav to hire me!!!!1111shiftone


  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Scott…that’s not too far off!

  8. sadee says:

    hi looking for a free chat room

Skip to main content