Executive Centre

Glossary & Recruitment Jargon

A quick definition of a few important employment terms which may come handy..

Accomplishments -- these are achievements you have had in your career. These key points really help sell you to an employer -- much more than everyday duties or responsibilities. In your cover letters, resumes, and job interviews, focus on key career accomplishments -- especially ones that you can quantify.

Action Verbs -- The building blocks of effective cover letters and resumes. These concrete, descriptive verbs express your skills, assets, experience, and accomplishments. Avoid nondescriptive verbs such as "do," "work," and forms of the verb "to be." Instead, begin each descriptive section with an action verb. Almost every resume book has a list of great action verbs to choose from.

Benefits -- An important part of your compensation package, and part of the salary negotiation process. Note that every employer offers a different mix of benefits. These benefits may include paid vacations, company holidays, personal days, sick leave, life insurance, medical insurance, retirement and pension plans, tuition assistance, child care, stock options, and more. Can be worth anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of your salary.

Career Branding -- Helps define who you are, how you are great, and why you should be sought out. Branding is your reputation. Branding is about building a name for yourself, showcasing what sets you apart from other job-seekers, and describing the added value you bring to an employer.

Career Objective/Job Objective -- An optional part of your resume, but something you should contemplate whether you place it on your resume or not. It can sharpen the focus of your resume and should be as specific as possible -- and written in a way that shows how you can benefit the employer.

Corporate Culture -- The collection of beliefs, expectations, and values shared by an organization's members and transmitted from one generation of employees to another. The culture sets norms (rules of conduct) that define acceptable behavior of employees of the organization. It's important for job-seekers to understand the culture of an organization before accepting a job.

Dress for Success -- Maintaining a professional look while on the job to aid career advancement. Will dressing properly get you the job? Not by itself, but it will give you a competitive edge and help you make a positive first impression.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan Ė gives the employees the chance to buy stock, usually through payroll deductions over a 3-30 month offering period.

Employment Gaps -- Are those periods of time between jobs when job-seekers are unemployed, either by choice or circumstances. Employers do not like seeing unexplained gaps on resumes, and there are numerous strategies for reducing the impact of these gaps on your future job-hunting.

Grant Price Ė The price at which an option is provided and is usually the market price at the time the options are granted or a weighted average between two time periods.

Hidden Job Market Ė Only 40 % percent of all job openings are publicly known or published on job boards etc., the rest of the job market is "closed," meaning you can't find out about any new openings unless you do some digging.

Job Interviewing -- All about making the best matches. First impressions are key and preparation is critical to interviewing success.

Job Shadowing -- One of the most popular work-based learning activities because it provides job-seekers with opportunities to gather information on a wide variety of career possibilities before deciding where they want to focus their attention. Job shadows involve brief visits to a variety of workplaces, during which time you "shadow," observe, and ask questions of individual workers.

Job Skills Portfolio -- Also referred to as a Career Portfolio, a job-hunting tool a job-seeker develops to give employers a complete picture of who you are, including samples of your work -- your experience, your education, your accomplishments, your skill sets -- and what you have the potential to become -- much more than just a cover letter and resume can provide.

Key Accomplishments -- An optional part of your resume, but one that is growing in use. This section should summarize (using nouns as keywords and descriptors) your major career accomplishments. Sometimes also referred to as "Summary of Accomplishments," "Qualifications Summary," or simply "Accomplishments

Keywords -- Nouns and noun phrases that relate to the skills and experience that employers use to recall resumes scanned into a database. Keywords can be precise "hard" skills -- job-specific/profession-specific/industry-specific skills, technological terms and descriptions of technical expertise, job titles, certifications, names of products and services, industry buzzwords, etc.

Phantom Stock: Phantom stock is simply a promise to pay a bonus in the form of the equivalent of either the value of company shares or the increase in that value over a period of time. For instance, a company could promise a new employee that it would pay him a bonus every five years equal to the increase in the equity value of the firm times some percentage of the total payroll at that point. Phantom Stock plans are not tax-qualified.

Reference List -- Never include references on your resume or cover letter; they should be listed on a separate references sheet provided at an advanced stage of discussions with the next employer. Never provide a list of references to an employer unless you are requested to do so. Should include work references (current and past supervisors)

Resigning/Resignations -- Whenever possible, do not leave on bad terms with your employer.

Restrictive covenants

This is an employment agreement clause which aims at protecting all confidential and commercial information belonging to the employer. Prevents an employee from setting up a competing business whilst still employed. Also prevents an employee from competing for a set period of time and within a defined geographical area once they have left the employer. Other restrictions include attempts to encourage other employees to leave and work in a competing business. Finally, the clause states that any breaches will entitle the employer to seek legal redress, including damages for any loss.

Resume --should reflect your special mix of skills and strengths.

  • chronological resumes -- a resume organized by your employment history in reverse chronological order, with company/job titles/accomplishments/dates of employment.
  • functional resumes -- a resume organized by skills and functions; bare-bones employment history often listed as a separate section.
  • Curriculum Vitae -- also called a CV or vita and similar to a resume, but more formal, and includes a detailed listing of items beyond the typical resume items, such as publications, presentations, professional activities, honors, and additional information. Tends to be used by international job-seekers, and those seeking a faculty, research, clinical, or scientific position. 

Severability- This standard paragraph in an employment agreement states that each paragraph, sub-paragraph or clause in the agreement is independent of each other, so if one is invalid or does not apply to the employee the rest of the contract remains valid.

Stock Appreciation Rights (SARís): Stock appreciation rights are very similar to Phantom Stock. The basic difference is that unlike Phantom Stockís, 1) SARís simply reward the employee based in the increase if any in the stock price and 2) phantom stock payments are usually made at a fixed predetermined date, while SARís can be exercised anytime after they vest.

Transferable Skills -- Skills you have acquired during any activity in your life -- jobs, classes, projects, parenting, hobbies, sports, virtually anything -- that are transferable and to what you want to do in your next job.

USP -- An advertising term -- unique selling proposition -- that refers to the one thing about a product that makes it distinct from all others. In job-hunting, job-seekers need to find the one thing that makes you more qualified for this job than anyone else. What can you offer that no other applicant can?