When writing your resume you want to save precious space in order to include all your achievements and demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the job.
But what’s the best way to abbreviate on your resume without causing confusion?
Here are some common examples of resume abbreviations you may want to consider…
Abbreviation for Million
There are different options on how to abbreviate million, such as $200m, $200M, or $200MM.
However there are issues with this as it could easily lead to confusion.
In metric terms, ‘M’ is short for ‘Mega’ which equates to ‘million’. But ‘M’ is also the Roman numeral for ‘thousand’, and has been used in the past as the standard abbreviation (hence the ‘MM’ as an abbreviation for ‘million’).
Obviously this could lead different people to interpret the numbers differently.
Therefore the safest approach you can take is to spell out the word million, and to not abbreviate it at all.
“Managed a team with annual revenues of $4.5 million” or “Delivered savings of £1.4 million to the company’s cast base”.
Abbreviation for Thousand
As mentioned above, in the past ‘M’ has been used as the abbreviation for thousand as it is the Roman numeral for ‘thousand’.
However, in metric terms ‘K’ is used as an abbreviation as it is short for ‘Kilo’ which equates to ‘thousand’. Despite the options, ‘K’ is widely recognised as a standard abbreviation for thousand now.
“Managed orders worth $850k per month” or “Managed delivery of 10k widgets per month”.
Abbreviating thousand is actually better than spelling out the word ‘thousand’ as that just looks strange (“Managed orders worth $850 thousand per month”).
Abbreviation for Billion
Now this can be tricky, primarily because of the different value of billion in different countries.
In the US, a billion equals 1,000,000,000 (a thousand million). Whereas in the UK, a billion equals 1,000,000,000,000 (a million million).
In metric terms, ‘Giga’ or ‘G’ equates to the US billion whereas ‘Tera’ or ‘T’ equates to the UK billion. In practice, neither of these terms are a good option.
The abbreviation ‘B’ or ‘Bn’ is often used to abbreviate billion and these would generally be recognised. Although the safest of all options, as with the abbreviation for million, is to actually spell out the word billion.
“Managed a portfolio of projects costing $4.5 billion” or “Delivered efficiencies worth £2 billion to the UK tax payer”.
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Abbreviation for Management
This is an easy one.
The best abbreviation for management is ‘mgmt’.
Nice and simple!
Abbreviation for Month and Months
Whilst it is not really necessary to abbreviate the word month, unless you are really short on space, a common abbreviation for month is ‘mo’, and for months it is ‘mos’.
So for example: “Held this position for a period of 9 mos”.
When using abbreviations for the names of months, it is important to maintain consistency throughout.
So for example, if you abbreviate February to Feb you should not then use Sept as the abbreviation for September, as this is inconsistent (use of 4 letters for the abbreviation for September instead of 3 letters for the abbreviation of February).
This demonstrates a lack of attention to detail, and could be picked up by eagle-eyed recruiters and potential employers.
For the abbreviation of months, best sticking to:
- January = Jan
- February = Feb
- March = Mar
- April = Apr
- May = May
- June = Jun
- July = Jul
- August = Aug
- September = Sep
- October = Oct
- November = Nov
- December = Dec
How to Abbreviate Degree Titles
The standard degree titles are so commonly understood that they can be abbreviated on your CV / resume without any problem. For example:
- BSc = Bachelor of Science
- BA = Bachelor of Arts
- MBA = Master of Business Administration
- MSc = Master of Science
- MA = Master of Arts
- PhD = Doctor of Philosophy
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Other Abbreviations and Acronyms on your Resume
As a general rule, try to avoid resume abbreviations and acronyms where possible.
If the reader doesn’t understand your abbreviation then you have lost them, and this could potentially harm your chances of getting called to interview.
There may be a word / phrase that you repeat throughout your resume and really want to abbreviate it to save space. In this instance, the approach is to spell it out the very first time you use it, then add the abbreviation immediately afterwards in brackets. After that, you can simply use the abbreviation.
“Experienced in all aspects of programme and project management (PPM)…….. delivered PPM training to 1,200 people”.
In many cases, there may be abbreviations and acronyms that are so widely known in your industry that you are ok to use them without spelling them out.
In fact, it may actually demonstrate a lack of experience if you spell out an abbreviation that is considered common knowledge.
However, if you are sending your CV / resume for a role in a different industry, then you will need to spell out any abbreviations as your potential new employer will most likely not be familiar with them.
We have spoken about some common CV and resume abbreviations, without mentioning the CV abbreviation itself!
CV stands for Curriculum Vitae – a Latin term which loosely translates to ‘course of life’.