I drove by a lot today with a sign that said: “Coming Soon! Water Park!” Sounds great but there is just one catch: the sign has been up there for about two years now. I don’t think anyone believes the “coming soon” part, at the very least. “Soon” is hard to quantify however I will take a leap here and say two years is not soon. I am not sure what “soon” is, but I know it isn’t two years; just like I am not sure how long “brand new” should last, but I’ll take another risk here and say two years wouldn’t cut the mustard on that one either.
It is great if you have learned a new skill, received additional training or tried something new – yeah for you, be proud of yourself. But please do not tout it for the next year or two as “new” – it isn’t new any more. If you are still bragging about it two years later as new I can pretty much guarantee no one wants to hear about it any more.
Here’s another one: just. I “just” did this or that. Ask any single person if they met a great person and hear the phrase, “I just got divorced” if little warning bells and alarms don’t go off in their head. However if the divorce was three years ago other types of warning bells should be going off. To tell an employer, “I just got laid off” and it has been several months, well that now ventures into the world of over exaggeration leading to hiding something sliding into lying.
These are just a few examples of words that can add impact but wear off or become outdated quickly. So for today, this is my gentle reminder to be mindful of your word choice for networking, elevator speeches, interviewing and resumes: one word can change everything.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Polish, Inc.