The AdCom is Your Taxi Driver

Next time you take a cab, and the driver asks what you do for a living, listen to your answer very very carefully.

Something amazing happens. You instinctively use… simple language. Language that is clear, and communicable in the harried environment of a noisy cab, with a listener who might not have the same experience in your line of work as you do. This ability to communicate clearly is something we ALL possess, but RARELY tap into. Why? Because it makes us feel good to use big words. Makes us feel big and badass and we think it’s gonna impress the other guy.

Might be true sometimes. But NOT in your essays.

Your Adcom readers might have some idea of your line of work… but think about the range of industries, and the subsets within those industries… it is not just improbable but literally impossible for your reader to be aware of lingo and jargon that might be second nature to you.

How would a cabbie respond to a bunch of fancy tech terms? Quietly. Confusedly. He would… “stop talking to you.”

Your Adcom reader will check out as well.

The clearer your language, the quicker you’ll be able to get to the meat of your argument, which is what you actually did, how you improved things, how you led… the nitty gritty.

I got my Series 9 certification

Congratulations, your reader just “checked out.” This phrase means little to anyone who isn’t in the industry.

Despite acknowledgment by Commercial Operations that some customer technical requirements did not meet our standard products or designs, there was limited consultation with engineering and other stakeholders before engaging.

We have no idea, whatsoever, what this means.

The AdCom is your Taxi Driver. This is your new mantra: “The AdCom is my Taxi driver! The AdCom is my Taxi driver! The AdCom is my Taxi driver!””

Think about your stories, and tell it to your Taxi Driver in such a way that he will (a) understand it and (b) be able to explain it to the next guy. Take a stab at it and write it down, using conversational language with “ums” and “ahh” and “yknow” … something you could actually read out loud and it would sound like something you’d SAY. Listen to it. There will be an elegance to the WAY you describe your work that will be incredibly helpful to you as you write your essays.

Choosing Your Recommenders