Beware using acronyms in your LinkedIn profile or content. Or comments.

True story: I just saw someone use “COI” in a LinkedIn post and a question came rolling in: what is COI?

I googled the 3 letters, and could it be:

  • certificate of insurance?
  • conflict of interest?
  • child opportunity index?
  • community of interest?
  • continued operations instrument?
  • center of influence?

to name a few…

It turns out it was the last one, centers of influence. Assuming it was well-known, the writer, while well-intentioned, provided little context to help others know what he intended to ask.

Commonly used abbreviations, in our fast pace, make us too close to the usual lingo in our field. Others are not. It’s easy to overlook this.

I recalled my earlier blogpost about 4 years ago on this topic, so it’s worth repeating.

Again I thought of all the other acronyms out there that need to be fully written out. Not everyone who reads your profile is in your industry–or knows your industry, even a little bit.

You are the expert in your field.

CPA, IT, AI, ROI: these are part of the common vernacular.

But be sure to let the reader know exactly what you are saying, without code words, and they will read more, not feel under-knowledgeable. Many will not ask for clarification, leaving your post with no better understanding. Not a good feeling; may I say acrimonious to alliterate acronmys?

Because they are not coming back to give you another chance.

COI was not AOK.

IMHO (in my humble opinion).

Marc W. Halpert

LinkedIn personal coach, group trainer, marketing strategist and overall evangelist, having a great time pursuing my passion of connecting professionals so they can collaborate better!

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