In writing a bio in a technical context, like an author blurb in a publication, should I use acronyms or spell them out? Always? Depending on the context?

For example:

  • Degrees: BS, MS, PhD, MCC
  • Certifications: PMP (Project Management Professional), SM (Scrum Master), ITIL
  • Technical terms: DBA, CRM, SLDC
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    Hello and welcome to Writers. "Please critique my writing" questions are off-topic here, sorry. Please check out the link in the notice above and our short tour for more about the kinds of questions that are on-topic here. Thanks. Dec 30, 2014 at 21:05
  • I would not use acronyms but spell them out. Not everyone knows what MCC, PMP or ITIL mean (I don't). Afzer the third line or so I stopped reading your text, because it is all meaningless to me.
    – user5645
    Dec 31, 2014 at 14:39
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    Eduardo, I've made a major edit to your question to try to make it fit our site. You've been editing your sample text, but as I said before we don't do critiques of writing samples. I took the question in your title and the kinds of edits you've made as guidance. Please take a look, and if you're ok with this edit I'll reopen the question. Just leave me a comment. Thanks. Jan 1, 2015 at 4:18
  • Restrain yourself from using acronyms, especially generally uncommon ones, even though they might be common in your field. While acronyms like BSc, MSc or PhD are fairly common and understood worldwide, the other acronyms might not be understood by everyone and their definitions are better written in full. Jan 1, 2015 at 16:37
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    @EduardoHernández, your question has been reopened. I didn't see your previous comment, so sorry for the delay. To reply to a specific person (who has previously commented on a thread), you can use an '@' plus the user name, as I've done here, and that person receives a notification. Jan 15, 2015 at 22:36

2 Answers 2


If the audience you are writing to knows what those acronyms are, then go ahead and use them. So for technical documents, resumes, etc, the audience knows what BS, MS, PhD stand for.

Personally, I didn't know the technical or certifications acronyms, but if the document you are writing is very technical and meant for technical people you can get away without spelling out the acronyms. My rule of thumb is to spell out everything at least once unless it's something that is universally understood.


If the abbreviation is understood by 95% of your intended audience, and 90% of their bosses, and you would seem pretentious if you spelled out the abbreviation, abbreviate it. Of your examples, only the following ones might meet this standard:

  • BS, MS, PhD (and similarly, BA, MA, MD, JD).

While DBA often stands for "Database Administrator", it also stands for "Doing Business As", so you should spell it out. The other abbreviations should be spelled out, so that ordinary bosses can understand them.

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