If You Can’t Define It, Don’t Use It.

February 26, 2013 — Leave a comment

IMG_3618Resumes – they all look the same, but what you put on them say’s a lot about your character.  I am in the process of hiring a group of security focused sales people in the mid-west.  I was recently interviewing one candidate with a great deal of security terminology on his resume.  He sounded good – but when I stopped him to ask him what the terms he was using meant, it all fell apart.

Do you use terms you don’t really understand?  It’s not that hard to look them up on Google.  On his resume he used acronyms like PCI, HIPAA, GLBA, SOX, along with numerous federal security terms.  Everything was going well until I stopped him to ask about PCI.  It’s funny, before stopping him I thought to myself, “Everyone knows what PCI is.”  But something just didn’t site right, and so I asked him.  I asked what is stood for, what it called for – just at a high-level, and we have PCI standards.  He couldn’t tell me anything.

Then he mentioned HIPAA – this was interesting because he couldn’t even spell it, let alone define it.  Behind his name he had the letter CISSP – he knew what they stood for, but he couldn’t define risk – which is central to the whole CISSP program.

Are you in the habit of using terms you don’t understand?  This is the fastest way to lose credibility. Use Google and find out what these terms mean.  Whether you are selling security, data center projects, or managed services, you have a set of terms and acronyms that form the language of your discipline.  If you’re going to be the trusted adviser, you have to know what you’re talking about.

© 2013, David Stelzl

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