RESUME ADVICE

How to Use Abbreviations on Your Resume

Abbreviations in resumes are common but it's important that you know how to use them properly.

A resume abbreviation is an efficient and quick way to express a term, idea, award, certification, or additional information on the document for a job application. There are several benefits to using them when appropriate. Below we explain best practices and several examples of what you can abbreviate.

Is it appropriate to use abbreviations on your resume?

People use abbreviations for a couple of reasons. First, an abbreviation shortens the word to leave extra room on the entire document. If jobseekers use abbreviations properly, they can add additional lines to express other information.

Secondly, abbreviations eliminate redundancy throughout the resume. If you already spelled something out, you do not need to repeat it throughout the rest of the document. Instead, you can apply the abbreviation to save space.

Phrases and acronyms are also forms of resume abbreviations. Oftentimes professionals will list out the entire phrase and then put the abbreviation in parenthesis. Doing so will ensure the resume hits all the necessary applicant tracking software (ATS) keywords. For example:

  • Masters of Science (MS), Bachelors of Science (BS)
  • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)

Most common abbreviations that you can use on your resume.

Resume abbreviations are appropriate when most people understand what they mean. Below are some of the most popular and acceptable abbreviations you can use on a resume. As you implement them throughout the resume, avoid overusing them. Spread them out evenly so recruiters can still read the ideas easily.

Abbreviations for months.

When you list out your individual work experiences, it is vital to list out your start and end dates. While some professionals only use years, months can paint a much clearer picture of how long you were with a company. Below are the common abbreviations for the months of the year:

  • January: Jan
  • February: Feb
  • March: Mar
  • April: Apr
  • May: May
  • June: Jun
  • July: Jul
  • August: Aug
  • September: Sep
  • October: Oct
  • November: Nov
  • December: Dec

Abbreviations for numbers.

Numbers are some of the most important pieces of information you can put in a resume. They provide detailed success of your endeavors. Specific numbers will not only show your organizational skills, but they will also convey your material impact on an organization. Below are some of the most common abbreviations for numbers on a resume:

  • Million (M): Increased sales by $12.1M in 2021.
  • Thousand (K): Oversaw $201K in manufacturing accounts through excellent customer service skills.

Abbreviations for degrees.

Degrees showcase your commitment to lifelong learning. If you are tight on space, inputting abbreviations can be quick, easy, and convenient. Below are some of the most popular abbreviations used for degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science: BS
  • Master of Science: MS
  • Bachelor of Arts: BA
  • Masters of Business Administration: MBA
  • Common Professional Examination in Law: CPE
  • Doctor of Jurisprudence: JD
  • Master of Arts: MA

Other abbreviations.

Apart from abbreviations, numbers, and months, here are some other acceptable abbreviations:

  • States
  • Industry jargon for IT, cybersecurity, human resources, and more
  • Job titles – vice president (VP), chief executive officer (CEO)

Final wrap up.

Abbreviations are a valuable way to save space on the resume. The most important thing to remember is to use them sparingly and not let them overpower the rest of the resume. Here are a couple of other critical points to remember:

  • If you use the full word once already, you can begin using the abbreviation
  • Stick to abbreviations for degrees, numbers, and months

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Evgeni Asenov
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