Employment Terms Glossary

  • achievement resume – A resume format that lists five or six strong relevant achieve-ments under a main heading such as Professional Accomplishments or Selected Achievements.
  • action verb – A verb that says that someone did something. For example, “I earned araise.”
  • age discrimination – The illegal practice of prejudice against a person because of his orher age. In this form of discrimination, an employer may eliminate job candidates becauseshe’s too old or too young.
  • attached file – A document that accompanies an e-mail message.
  • bottom line – A term that means different things to different people. In for-profit organi-zations, the bottom line is measured by revenue, savings, and profit. In nonprofit organiza-tions, the bottom line may be program effectiveness, enrollment, or budget growth. The keyto writing effective achievement statements on your resume is to understand the reader’s bottom line.
  • browser – Software, such as Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer, that allows you tonavigate the World Wide Web.
  • bullet point – A graphic symbol used to highlight a statement.
  • career coach – Someone who helps a client develop his job-search strategy and motivateshim through the process.
  • career counselor – Someone who helps a client assess his qualifications and decide whatcareer move to make.
  • chronological hybrid – A chronological resume with skill subheadings (similar to theskill headings in a functional resume) incorporated into the Professional Experience section.
  • chronological resume – A resume format that organizes the job seeker’s achievementsaccording to his work history.
  • compensation – The combination of salary, benefits, and perks to pay an employee forwork.
  • complimentary close – In a letter the word or short phrase just above your signature.”Sincerely yours” is perhaps the most commonly used complimentary close for job-searchcorrespondence.
  • consultant – A temporary worker (someone who’s not on a payroll) who is used in fieldssuch as business management and technology development.
  • contractor – A temporary worker (someone who’s not on a payroll) who is used in fieldssuch as construction, administration, and business management.
  • curriculum vitae – Also referred to as a vita or CV, this term is used by the academic andscientific communities to mean resume.
  • download a document – To transfer the document from a remote computer or anInternet site onto your computer.
  • e-mail – Short for electronic mail, this is mail sent electronically over the Internet.
  • employment history – A section on a resume that lists your paid work.
  • e-resume – Short for electronic resume, this is the computerized form of a resume.E-resumes are used for e-mailing, posting online, and transferring by other electronicmeans.
  • fax – Memos and documents delivered over a facsimile machine.
  • fonts – Typefaces, which come in two styles: serif (with the little feet on the characters)and sans serif (without the feet).
  • freelance – Working on an independent basis. A freelancer is someone who works underhis own direction, finds his own work, and often (but not always) works at home. Fieldssuch as graphic design and interior decorating often employ freelancers.
  • functional hybrid – A functional resume with company subheadings included in theRelevant Achievement section to indicate where the achievements took place.
  • functional resume – A resume format that organizes the job seeker’s achievementsaccording to his transferable skills
  • heading – The section at the top of a resume, composed of the job seeker’s name, address,and contact information (phone, fax, and e-mail).
  • horizontal career move – Taking a new job that is of equal status to the one the personcurrently holds within a given field.
  • ISP (Internet Service Provider) – A company that offers dial-up Internet access.
  • job agent – A service provided by some online resume banks that sorts through job listingsand then e-mails the job seeker only those listings that match his job-search criteria.
  • Job Objective – A brief statement near the top of a resume that states the job seeker’s goal.This section can also be called Objective, Career Objective, or Career Goal, whichever fitsthe individual’s situation.
  • keywords – The terms an employer enters into a resume database search engine to scourthe database for the ideal job candidate. A job seeker places these terms near the top of hise-resume in a Keyword section or distributes them throughout his resume so that the searchengine will identify him for certain job openings.
  • leading – The space between lines of text. You can adjust the leading of individual lines toaccent headings and increase ease of reading.
  • modem – A piece of hardware that allows a computer to connect to the telephone systemin order to access the Internet or to fax documents.
  • network – A carefully crafted web of people that has you in the center. Made of invisible threads that extend from you to all the people you know, to the people they know, and soon, your network is a conduit for information and favors.
  • networking card – A hybrid between a business card and a resume: a small card with thejob seeker’s name, contact info, and key professional qualifications.
  • nondisclosure – Not mentioning something. This is not the same as lying (telling some-thing that isn’t true). Nondisclosure is acceptable on a resume; lying is not!
  • optical character recognition (OCR) software – A computer’s tool for converting anelectronic image into electronic text, which can then be searched for keywords and manip-ulated into new formats such as database files.
  • paragraph – In word-processing jargon, a paragraph is any text that begins after a hardreturn (pressing Return or Enter on your keyboard) and ends with the next hard return.
  • passive verb – A verb that tells what happened to someone or something. For example, “Araise was given to me.”
  • point size – A measurement used by typographers to gauge the size of type. The larger thenumber of the point, the larger the letter, number, or symbol.
  • portable document format (PDF) – A very reliable type of file used for sending andreceiving documents through e-mail as attached files. PDFs are known for their ability tomaintain fonts, graphics, and layout specifications. To create a PDF you must have AdobeAcrobatTM software. And the recipient of the PDF must have Adobe AcrobatTM in order toopen and read the file.
  • post your resume online – To place an electronic version of your resume on the Internetfor employers and recruiters to view.
  • professional experience – The midsection in the chronological resume that contains ajob seeker’s work history and achievement statements. That section may also be calledProfessional Accomplishments, Career Achievements, Achievements, SelectedAccomplishments, or Experience.
  • professional title – This could be an official job title a person has held or simply the pro-fessional role she’s qualified to fill. For instance, a resume writer could use any of the fol-lowing professional titles at the top of her resume: Resume Writer, Resume Consultant,Career Counselor, or Career-Development Professional. The writer would chose her profes-sional title based on how she was using her resume.
  • resume – A short account of one’s professional experience and qualifications, typicallyused by a job applicant. Resumes are also used for projects that don’t involve a job search,such as business plans, school applications, and consulting proposals.
  • resume bank – An electronic database that holds many resumes. Most resume banks havesearch capabilities to select resumes according to job objective, resume headline, and key-words specified by the employer or headhunter.
  • salary – The amount of money one brings home in paychecks in a year. Not be confusedwith compensation, which is one’s salary, benefits (such as insurance and retirement plan),and perks (such as travel and time off).
  • scanning – The process of turning a hard-copy document into an electronic image.
  • search engine – A software tool that uses keywords to locate specific sites on the WorldWide Web, particular files within a database, or specified words within a text document.
  • smart quotes – Quotation marks that curl around the words that they enclose. (Alsocalled curly quotes.)
  • snail mail – A slang term for what the U.S. Postal Service delivers.
  • stupid quotes – Quotation marks that do not curl around the words that they enclose.(Also called straight quotes.)
  • summary of qualifications – A section on a resume that contains a brief set of pointsthat say the job seeker is qualified for his job objective. This section can also be calledHighlights of Qualifications, Qualifications, Highlights, Summary, or Profile.
  • template – A formatted guideline, not a boilerplate (a rigid form in which you simply fillin the blanks).
  • text only – Text without fancy formatting such as bold, indents, italics, or varied typesizes. This style of text is ideal for e-mailing your resume or distributing it online.
  • thank-you note – A short letter of appreciation. A thank-you note for a job-search favorsent to a friend can be handwritten or typed on any size sheet of paper or note card. Whensent to an employer, your letter should be typed on an 81/2″ × 11″ sheet of paper.
  • upload a document – To transfer a document from your computer to a remote computeror to an Internet site.
  • URL (Universal Resource Locator) – An address that you type into the browser in orderto access (or go to) a particular Web site. It’s also known as a Web address.
  • vertical career move – Making a transition to a higher job level within the same profes-sion or industry.
  • vitae – The possessive form of vita, which means life. Therefore “life’s course” is “curricu-lum vitae.” Life is just plain vita. See also curriculum vitae.
  • voice mail – Messages left on someone’s telephone answering machine or service.
  • work history – A section on a resume that may include paid and unpaid work (becausework is work, whether it’s done for free or for hire).

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