A job seeker's career achievements- These are your successes, the standout moments in your career. Any cover letter, CV, or resume should clearly show your achievements, and draw the employer's attention. When attending a job interview, you should always focus on key career achievements - especially those that are closely applicable to the job. Showing a record of positive achievements is an important part of your overall presentation, and indicates your strongest abilities. NOTE: Always show your accomplishments clearly on your CV in relation to the job for which you're applying.

Action Verbs

Action Verbs are descriptive verbs that are used to express skills, experience, accomplishments and job functions.
Action verbs such as 'managed', 'sell' and 'programmed' are preferred over non-descriptive action verbs.
It's always a good idea to begin each section of a CV or resume with a strong action verb, for example:
Managing the office stationary requirements was an integral part of my role within the company
An important part of my role was to manage the office stationary requirements.
The Action Verb means the job function, and is a description of the job, "managing".

Agency Worker

Please see 'Temping'


Allowances are extra entitlements to money for various work-related things, like uniforms, out of pocket expenses, etc. where the employee incurs an expense in the course of their work. In some cases allowances are created by industrial law, and recognized by tax law. It's worth checking out allowances, because in some cases expenses related to work have a significant impact on the wallet.
Note: Expense accounts and allowances are not the same thing. They're not related. See Expense Accounts for details.

Anti Discrimination Laws

It is extremely important to understand Anti Discrimination laws, and their practical applications.
Anti Discrimination law is one of the major legal breakthroughs in human rights. It prohibits discrimination against people on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, disability, and sexual preferences.
Anti discrimination law is also the legal basis of defining the rights of people in the workplace, in the form of Equal Employment Opportunity rules. It affects employment law across the board, covering all aspects of employee rights.
In all aspects of work, both in job seeking and on the job, Anti Discrimination law underpins rights and entitlements. Many court cases in employment law are decided on the basis of breaches of Anti Discrimination law.


Apprenticeships are a form of paid training, usually in trades like painting, plumbing, or electrical trades. An apprentice usually starts young, after leaving high school, and undertakes several years of training, with certification as a qualified tradesperson at the end of the apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships are extremely valuable training, and provide skills which are portable throughout industry. It's also important in private enterprise, because many apprentices move on to operate their own businesses. In many cases, formal qualification in trades is required by law, because work like electrical maintenance and plumbing are subject to regulation and safety standards.


Tests used by employers in order to gain a better insight into a potential employee's personality and career potential. While these tests can help the job seeker discover more about himself and unleash career ideas, they should never be relied upon as the only means of exposing potential.

Background Checks

Employers will use these in order to verify that any information given is accurate. The following are likely to be checked:

  • Previous Employment
  • Education (especially exam results/degrees)
  • Personal References
  • Medical Records
  • Driving Record
  • Criminal Record
  • Credit History

Which items are checked will depend largely upon the position applied for.


Sometimes called 'perks' or 'fringe benefits', these include:

  • Paid Vacations
  • Personal Leave Days
  • Sick Leave
  • Life Insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Pension & Retirement Plans
  • Child Care
  • Stock Options

Benefits are a valuable part of the package offered and can be worth anything up to 40% of your salary. It's therefore important that benefits are discussed during the salary negotiation process.
See also 'Compensation Package' and 'Salary'

Career Assessment

Please see 'Assessments'

Career Branding

Career brands are important to a job seeker's reputation. This is what tells potential employers who the job seeker is, what he does and why the company should employ him. By building a solid reputation within a chosen industry, employers will immediately understand the job seeker's value, thus setting him apart from other job seekers.

Career Change

Experts predict that each individual will change careers between 3 - 5 times during their working life. These changes can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • Wrong choice of career when young
  • Career not as enjoyable as believed
  • Technology development has led to changes within industry
  • Lack of progression within chosen field
Too many career changes can be detrimental to successfully finding employment but if changes can be substantiated, most employers will understand that the job seeker is interested in finding a new job that's suitable for his chosen career change, or to move forward within the job seeker's chosen career.

Career Coach

These are professional people who help the job seeker develop and understand his/her career potential though mentoring and advising on all areas of job and career searching. Career coaches are also known as:

  • Career Trainer
  • Career Consultant
  • Career Advisor
  • Work Coach
  • Life Management Facilitator

Career Exploration

The methods used when looking to expand on a chosen career or choose a new career path to follow.
In any career there are choices and decisions to be made. For example, to specialize in one subject or another, or to pursue a single or double degree. Career Exploration is based on "navigation" of your career choices. To explore your career you require information, time frames, and a clear career path. A new career can be a whole new world.

Career Fair

Also known as job fairs and employment fairs, these are generally held during the Spring Break to allow college students as well as established professionals to attend. The idea is to allow companies to meet potential employees and vice versa.
Career fairs fall into three basic categories: Campus sponsored, commercial, or community initiated. Campus career fairs are based on campus criteria, sponsored by the college. Commercial career fairs are professional, usually at entry level or specialty based, used by employers as recruiting tools. Community sponsored career fairs are very broad based, incorporating many different kinds of employment.

Career Objective

This is the part of a resume that tells the employer what the job seeker's goals are within his or her chosen career path. Although it doesn't have to be included in a resume, it's strongly recommended that job seekers outline career objectives whenever possible.

More information about Resumes

Career Planning

The process of deciding a career path. Job seekers should ask themselves:

  • In which industry would I like to work?
  • What is my ideal salary?
  • Do I need more education in order to meet my goals?
  • How to organize study, work, and develop the career on the job.
This is the most critical part of any career, from basic entry qualifications to advanced degrees. It includes consideration of jobs, qualifications and levels of experience as career assets. Career planning involves time management, decision-making, and sometimes tough career choices and job options.

Career Portfolio

This is an important tool used when seeking certain types of employment. The job seeker puts together a 'picture' of his/her work in order to help the employer evaluate their abilities. This is especially used by writers, artists, photographers and similar. Sometimes also known as 'Job Skills Portfolio'.
Portfolios must relate well to the positions being sought. Because of the nature of the work in these fields, it's necessary to show quality of materials, and success in the commercial applications of them. When compiling a portfolio, the materials provided must be relevant and of highest possible quality.This is an important tool used when seeking certain types of employment. The job seeker puts together a 'picture' of his/her work in order to help the employer evaluate their abilities. This is especially used by writers, artists, photographers and similar. Sometimes also known as 'Job Skills Portfolio'.

Career Research

Please see 'Career Exploration'

Case Interview

Please see 'Job Interview'

Child care day care by employers

In some workplaces, employers provide day care for the young children of their employees, either on site or nearby. This is a practical, convenient approach which deals with the expensive problems faced by working parents.
Day care is usually part of an employment package, operated within the framework of terms of employment. In some cases it's negotiable, in others it's an option for the employer to provide.

Chronological Resume

Please see 'Resume'


Somebody else who is employed by the same employer and who an employee works alongside, often as part of a team. Sometimes also known as 'Fellow Worker'

Cold Call

Cold calling is used to obtain information regarding:

  • Work availability
  • Employers' preferences
  • Information related to qualifications and necessary levels of experience.
It's particularly useful as a method of building up contacts with employers, establishing a record of interest in positions, and getting career advice.

Company Research

The process of gathering information related to any employer. The information should include the company's products, its location, its financial situation and its corporate culture. This information, when used during an interview, will prove to the employer that you are interested in the company, not just the job.
Company research is also very useful to the applicant, and can be extremely important in career planning. The information will show the suitability of a position for meeting career goals, salary, opportunities for training and career advancement (some employers have good in house training schemes and actively encourage study.)

Compensation Package

The combination of salary and any fringe benefits that an employer is willing to provide. When considering a position, job seekers should always evaluate the entire package rather than the salary alone, as some benefits, such a health insurance, are extremely valuable.


Please see 'Freelancer'

Contract Employee

This is an employee hired to the employer by an employment agency to an organization, or obtains a job personally, on a fixed term or conditions. A contract employee is usually hired on a daily basis or for the length of a particular project.
Contract work can be helpful in filling gaps between regular jobs. It also helps manage finances, and in some cases adds skills to the CV. Contract work in some professions, like IT, is also helpful in maintaining currency of work experience, and helps in establishing professional and employer contacts.

Contract of Employment

An agreement between an employer and an employee. A contract of employment is enforceable by law and sets out the conditions and terms under which the employee is hired. Salary, benefits, working hours, etc., should all be outlined in the contract. Sometimes also known as an 'Employment Contract' or just 'Contract'
It's necessary to understand the terms and obligations of any contract. It is possible to enter into an agreement which may not be suitable for the employee, requiring extra hours of work, or waiving certain forms of payment to which the employee would otherwise be entitled.

Corporate Culture

The sum of the beliefs, values and expectations shared amongst employees of a company. It's the corporate culture that sets the norm for employee behavior and is an important deciding factor for a job seeker when evaluating whether or not a position is suitable.
Corporate culture also relates to employment conditions in the workplace, and can be used as a basis for assessing a job. A workplace culture of positive factors, for example, showing new career opportunities, frequent promotions, bonuses, or good compensation packages, is a recommendation.

Counter Offer-Counter Proposal

A negotiation process used between an employer and a potential employee. If the job seeker feels the employer's compensation package is too low, he should make a 'counter proposal' - usually higher than he actually expects to attain. The employer will then either decide that he won't increase his offer or give the job seeker a 'counter offer'. Almost all aspects of employment are negotiable, including salary, fringe benefits, working hours, child care, and moving expenses.

Cover Letter

Whenever a job seeker contacts an employer, his or her resume should always be accompanied by a cover letter. A well written cover letter should give employers an insight into the job seeker's personality and entice them to read their CV.

  • Uninvited Cover Letter - This is the type of cover letter most often used and should be sent to employers who are not advertising. Job seekers using this kind of cover letter are hoping to uncover positions within the hidden market.
  • Invited Cover Letter - This kind of cover letter is sent in response to a job advertisement. Employers who have announced job openings expect - and will welcome - such cover letters.
  • Referral Cover Letter - As the name suggest, this kind of cover letter is sent when a person who knows the employer personally refers the job seeker for a position. It's always important to 'name-drop' early on in the cover letter in order to catch the employers attention and compel him to read the CV.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Similar to a resume, a Curriculum Vitae - or CV - is somewhat more formal and more detailed. It might include presentations the job seeker has made, any professional activities, honors gained and any other relevant information. Hobbies can also be listed if relevant to the position in question. Examples of this are: a collector of antique furniture applying for a position with a furniture museum, and an angler applying for a job as journalist on an angling magazine.

See also 'Resume'

Declining Letter

A letter that is sent by a job seeker to an employer in order to turn down an offer of employment. So as to keep the company doors open for the future, the job seeker should always thank the employer for his kind offer and explain why he's unable to accept the position. A declining letter should always be written in a polite tone.

Degrees & Certificates

These are formal qualifications awarded to students in High School, College, Trade Schools and Universities. Some employees will also obtain certificates when attending work related courses. Most job ads specify required qualifications as essential for applicants.
Important: Qualifications must be stated, and copies provided in some cases. Applicants should be sure that their qualifications are accredited and recognized in the education and training system. Ask the employer if unsure.

Delegation of duties authority

"Delegation" means that someone officially gives a person the right to perform their duties. This may be paid or unpaid.
"Delegation of authority" means that the person delegated to perform the work now has both the authority and the responsibilities assigned to them.
These delegations come in several degrees. A person may be delegated to perform the work, but not have the authority to perform in the capacity of using authority.
In many cases delegation is a formal arrangement, with the delegated person held liable for any work performed under that delegation, not the person delegating. Generally delegation is a form of promotion, with or without reward.

Job seekers note: delegations belong on your CV. They relate to your job skills and your experience of added responsibilities.

Desirable Qualifications

Although not always stated, desirable qualifications can include the job seeker's past work experience, work habits, special skills (examples include specific computer related skills or a second language), personal achievements and availability (for example, whether the job seeker is available to travel at short notice). Job seekers with the most desirable qualifications are those most likely to be offered a position.

Disabled workers

A person is categorized as "disabled" by law. It requires medical certification of the health situation causing the disabilities.

Disabled workers are legally entitled to special employment conditions recognizing the reasonable requirements of their disability in the workplace. (A wheelchair-bound person is entitled to ramps for access, parking, etc, by law)
Disabled workers are also covered by Anti Discrimination law and Equal Employment Opportunity rules, and have the same rights in the workplace as anyone. The only possible exceptions are where their disability prevents their performance of certain duties, or where it would be unreasonable to expect them to perform certain tasks.


Workplace disputes come in several forms. Some are largely employer-based, others are covered by law.
Employer-based disputes are essentially civil disputes, either between the employee and the employer, or between parties in the workplace. These are supposed to be resolved in-house, where there's no law covering the issues. Most employers have grievance resolution procedures, which are supposed to be made known to all employees. In many cases there is mediation, conflict resolution procedures, or some form of management ruling.
Where industrial law, anti discrimination law, or other breaches of law are concerned, the law takes precedence.
In some cases in-house disputes become civil cases, which are frequently related to legal issues regarding employment. Sometimes the grievance resolution process fails, and this is usually the next step.

Diversity Job Seekers

Minority groups whom, because of their affiliation, are often put at a disadvantage when seeking employment. Sometimes also known as 'Minority Job Seekers'

Domino Effect

There are five key phases within any good job search. If one of these is ignored, the chances are higher for the job search to be unsuccessful. The five phases are:

  • Marketing Preparation
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Follow-up
Also known as 'Job Search Domino Effect'

Dress for Success

Although a cliché, it's still very important. The combination of a job seeker's clothing, personal grooming and overall appearance when attending an interview are what an employers will use to make his first impression. How you dress will tell employers a lot about who you are. Find out about the kind of clothing you'll be expected to wear on the job and dress similarly for your interview.
Make sure you’re comfortable with your appearance. It affects your performance if you’re self conscious. Shoes should be a good fit. It’s worth getting your interview outfit dry cleaned.
Women interview clothes check list
Female_clothes interview
Men_clothes for interview
Women attire interview
Pro dress for interview

E-mail Cover Letter

A cover letter that is sent to employers by e-mail rather than through the conventional postal service. This is a real cover letter, and needs to be written like any normal covering letter.
Include contact details. In some cases a file attachment or several will be included, so remember to say “Please see attached file” where required.
Where you’ve been asked to provide specific information in your application, list what you’ve attached to your email as described in the job advertisement.

Education and training options

In most organizations there's a formalized training and education plan or program. Some of the training is job-specific, related to regulations and laws affecting the work.
Other training is career related, ongoing training and career development, usually involving study leave, career advisory services, and various support mechanisms for employees.
These programs can be extremely valuable to employees, and it's suggested that any available education and training options in the workplace are explored. In many cases the training is required for promotion or progression in the workplace.
Note: This training does form part of your formal qualifications for your CV, in nearly all cases.
It's often relevant to specific types of work, like customer service workshops, EEO, or other short courses.

Electronic Resume

A resume that is sent to potential employers electronically, either via e-mail, through forms designed to accept your CV on the employer's website or via job search boards. Also known as 'E-Resume'.
Important: Formatting is sometimes necessary with electronic resumes. Some application forms will specify “doc, txt, PDF” formats. Make sure your resume is in acceptable format, or the employer’s software won’t be able to read it

Elevator Speech

A short, 15-30 second speech used by job seekers at career fairs, networking events and other similar events. These 'elevator speeches' are advertisements and should include the job seeker's key skills and outline what makes him unique.


A person working under a contract of employment in order to execute certain duties in return for a salary and/or other benefits.

Employment Gaps

The times a job seeker has been unemployed, especially those gaps that appear between jobs. Employers are not keen on unexplained gaps in a job seeker's employment history so such gaps should always be clearly explained in a CV, filling in periods of unemployment.
This is a particularly important, common problem for job hunters, and is covered in detail on our page

Employment policies

Employment policies are the rules the employers set for their workplace.
For example an employer may have a "zero tolerance" policy in relation to drugs/drinking on the job, or a "three strikes and you're out" policy for disciplinary matters.
Normal practice is that employers provide information regarding their employment policies
Employment policies are very commonly seen in job advertisements. A job or a job classification requires a degree, several years' experience, and related qualifications, as a matter of policy. The policy is based on the employer's view of the necessary levels of skills in that job classification.

Employment Status

A person's employment status defines whether he or she is a 'worker', an 'employee', or 'self employed'.

Entry Level Skills

The minimum required skills necessary for a job seeker (often a college leaver) to enter into employment with an organization.

Expense accounts

Expense accounts are broad based coverage of expenses incurred in employment. They're usually.
Expense accounts are formal separate accounts created to record employee expenditure. Usually expense accounts come with a cost ceiling, and set amounts payable for expenditure. Employees usually have to sign for any expenses claimed, and are held responsible for the money.
Employees are put on trust with these accounts, and abuse of expense accounts is a serious, job-threatening, matter.
Note: It's advisable when operating an expense account to check before incurring any expense where the right to claim or the amount claimed is debatable.


Some employers make it possible for employees to choose their own working hours as long as they're in the office between set times.
Flexi Time requires attendance of a given period per month. Attendance is usually allowed to be an average of ten hours under that time, without losing pay, or having to apply for leave to cover the period in deficit.
For periods over the ten hours in credit, the time is lost, unless the employee takes time off during the period.
Employees can manage their times, both at work and home, using Flexi Time.

Follow Up

Once you've sent your CV, you should follow up by calling the employer to ask for an interview. If the employer contacts you, follow up by promptly returning his call. Follow up an interview by writing a thank you letter and follow up a job offer by responding with either a letter of acceptance or a letter to decline the offer.


Freelancers are workers that are self-employed and who bid for individual projects. Freelancing is notoriously hard work but this is compensated though the kind of flexibility and freedom that employees do not have.
Freelance work occurs often in media, consultancies. Freelancers provide a service, and the work has the advantage of being able to do multiple jobs, and structure a professional work load.
It’s highly competitive work. Online freelance jobs can mean literally competing against everyone else on Earth, in your field. Arguably freelance work is the most demanding for CV presentation and professional standards.

Full Time Jobs

Positions that cover the number of hours one would normally expect to work in a day. While it's possible to have a part time job as well as a full time job, most employees in full time positions have only the one job.

Functional Resume

Please see 'Resume'

Guest workers

Guest workers are often immigrants employed as extra labor or to fill gaps in the workforce created by a skills shortage. The term was coined in the 1970s, and comes from the German expression "Gast Arbeiter", and is sometimes a derogatory expression. Guest workers are a sensitive issue in employment migration, with many nations adopting immigration policies which prevent immigration by unskilled workers.


Please see 'Recruiters'

Hidden Job Market

Employers prefer to fill jobs without the expensive and time consuming advertisement and interview process, where possible. No more than around 5-20% of job openings are ever publicly announced; the hidden job market therefore covers 80-95% of the total employment market. Only by digging around and cold calling can such positions be uncovered.
Other techniques for uncovering hidden jobs include business, professional and social networking and associations, and personal recommendations from relevant people or organizations. Usually in any field of work information about jobs is available from individual employers, even if they don’t advertise.

Higher Duties

Higher duties involve a temporary promotion to a higher paying job. Usually these promotions are conducted on a formal basis.
The payments normally work on the difference on the current wage paid to the employee and the minimum wage paid in the higher position.
Higher duties have an advantage in some jobs, particularly in government. Time spent in higher duties may be credited to the employee, if promoted to that salary, as part of the incremental wage increase related to the position.

Home Based Careers

Work performed from a person's own home. These can be either on an employed or freelance basis and offer the kind of flexibility that allows more time with family. Always be on the lookout for scams when applying for home based positions. These jobs are often considered by WAHMs (work at home moms), and people looking for a second income stream.
Another version of work at home is “telecommuting”, working online, rather than in an office. This is an emerging job market, as employers cut costs by hiring people who provide their own resources for work.

Illegal workers

These are usually illegal immigrants, without the legal right to work in the country. They're frequently severely underpaid, and without the legal rights granted to legal workers. Ironically, many of them emigrated from their home countries to avoid poverty.
The large number of illegal workers has created a series of major problems in employment in the US and elsewhere. Illegal workers often supply the workforce in jobs like agriculture and unskilled labor. Current figures indicate millions of illegal workers are working across a range of industries.

Independent Contractor

Please see 'Freelancer'

Injuries in the workplace

Any injury in the workplace has a legal status. A cut, for example, can get infected, leading to serious illness.
The basic requirements for employers and employees are:

  1. Any injury should be reported to management immediately or as soon as possible.
  2. Management must note the report, and any action taken.
  3. Any subsequent legal claim by the employer will require this information to be provided.
  4. The employer's liability for the injury depends on the circumstances. If an employee breached Occupational Health and Safety practices, the employer may not be held liable.
This is a strict formal process, and liabilities can run into millions for serious injuries.
Note: Employees are advised to be very wary of any lax or inadequate OHS practices in the workplace. It indicates that the employer may have a negative approach to OHS.


All jobs create their own special insurance needs. An office worker may need no more than health insurance, but a small retailer may require:

  1. Public liability insurance
  2. Fire insurance
  3. General stock insurance
  4. Income insurance
A plumber may require professional insurance for work which creates a liability.
For most workers employers can usually provide facilities for insurance through their HR/accounts department.
Note: whatever work you do, you need to know how the insurance in your profession operates, its costs, and what coverage you can get.


Involves students working in their chosen career field during a semester or during the summer. An internship gives valuable work experience and allows the job seeker to produce employment based references. Employers are more likely to employ a job seeker that has fulfilled an internship. Interns are selected in a similar process to job interviews.
Priceless to people at entry level, internships are a good first hand look at their career choice, on the practical employment level. Many industries actively promote internships because of the career element, and their need to have an ongoing stream of professionals.


Please see 'Job Interview'

Interviewing Skills

It's extremely important that any job seeker works on improving his or her interviewing skills as, regardless of the strength of a resume, the interview is what will ultimately land the job.
Always remember that:

  • First impressions are vital
  • The interviewer is likely to reach a decision about you during the first five minutes. Make sure those five minutes are very positive.
  • Good communication skills are important- You need to express yourself clearly, and prove your ability to communicate effectively.
  • Dressing for Success means understanding and following the appropriate dress code. If in doubt, ask.
  • Interviewees shouldn't just respond - they should initiate! Prepare your own questions about the job beforehand.
  • You are “selling yourself” as a product - the sum of your skills and abilities. The idea is to convince an employer of your value as an asset to the workplace.
  • Rehearse your interview, out loud, if necessary, so you can have some of your answers prepared and fluent. Think about likely subjects, issues, and all the standard questions.
  • You will have the chance at the end of the interview to make a statement supporting your application for the job. Have a good summary of your strongest points ready.

Job Application

Sometimes also known as 'Application for Employment'.
NOTE: These are formal documents, and all information provided by applicants has a legal status regarding terms of employment. False information, verbal or written, may be grounds for dismissal.
Job applications come in various formats, and some have special requirements for documents, and database entries. Having submitted a CV, many organizations now request that you also complete their own application form, either online or in hardcopy form.
Sometimes this is necessary in order to be offered an interview, other times the request will be made prior to an arranged interview. In the latter case, the completed application form will have to be delivered at the interview.
Even though some of the questions (sometimes all) will already have been covered in the job seeker's CV, it's important he or she completes the application carefully and meticulously.

Job Boards

Sometimes also known as 'Job Sites' and 'Employment Boards'
These are websites where employers post their openings and job seekers can either a) search for available jobs, and/or b) post their CVs.
There are five levels of job board on the Internet:
General Job Boards (including and,
Industry Specific Job Boards (such as,
Geographic Specific Job Boards (such as,
Job Seeker Niche Boards (such as, and
Company Career Centers (such as
International sites, like provide employment ads around the world, and also regularly provide job opportunities for telecommuters
Important: While most job boards try hard to avoid identity theft, some advertisers look for inappropriate information, like bank account details.
No legitimate employer will request that information. Legitimate online payments are usually made through a third party, like PayPal.

Job Clubs

Sometimes also known as 'Networking Clubs' 'Job-Finding Clubs' or ‘career support’ and ‘career networking’ groups. These groups operate on an industry, professional, and regional and local business levels.
These clubs enable job seekers to network together and offer support during the job seeking process. If no job club exists in a specific area, a job seeker can start one himself.
Some clubs are well organized, with websites, and plenty of resources for job seekers.
It’s worth searching for job clubs in your area of employment. They’re an extra source of information, and the support function is always useful.

Job Fair

Please see 'Career Fair'

Job Hunting Etiquette

The rules, norms and protocols that every job seeker should understand and follow. Good job hunting etiquette is based on good manners, something everybody should have learned. Sometimes also known as 'Business Etiquette'

Job Hunting on the Internet

The Internet offers countless opportunities for the job seeker, especially when it comes to easily being able to find and contact potential employers amongst the hidden job market. Those seeking work within the technology sector are well advised to search online, either using dedicated job boards or by contacting potential employers directly.

Job Interview

A meeting, or in some cases a series of meetings, between employer and potential employee in order to determine the best applicant for the position. Job seekers should always prepare for a job interview by learning about the company and what's involved in the position for which he has applied. (See Interviewing Skills)

  • Behavioral Interviews - The interviewer will use questions that probe the job seekers past, basing his decisions on the idea that a person's past will indicate his future behavior.
  • Case Interviews - Mainly used by management consultants, case interviews measure a job seeker's problem solving ability, communication skills, and ability to understand demands even when not clearly explained.
  • Panel Interviews - A committee of people will ask the job seeker questions. The key to success during this type of interview is to balance eye contact and responses, etc, between the person who is asking the question and the remainder of the group, in order to show that you are explaining yourself to all of them. Many job seekers dislike this form of interview as they feel intimidated by a group. Sometimes also known as 'Group Interview'
  • Phone Interviews - Telephone interviews are used when there's a considerable distance between employer and job seeker.. An initial 'phone interview will generally be given in order to determine whether or not a personal visit will be justified. If a personal interview is offered, always ensure that a specific date and time is decided.
  • Screening Interviews - This kind of interview is used to decide which of a number of candidates are most suitable for the position. Unsuitable candidates are eliminated during this phase. Those candidates that remain on the employers list after the screening interview will be put forward for a Final Interview.
  • Situational Interviews - The job seeker is placed in a hypothetical situation so that the interviewee is able to judge his reaction. This could be a situation where the interviewee has to deal with a dissatisfied customer or explain a process he would be expected to understand based on his past employment.
  • Stress Interviews - The interviewee will be put into a situation of pressure in order for the employer to access his ability to deal with stressful situations. Beware the sarcastic or argumentative employer! He may be testing you. Remember that no matter what happens during an interview, you should always remain calm and answer as clearly and politely as possible.
  • Traditional Interviews - During a traditional interview, questions such as 'why have you applied for this position?' and 'what skills can you bring to the company?' will be asked. Traditional interviews are used to access the suitability of the job seeker and failure is often due to the job seekers inability to communicate well.

Job Objective

Please see 'Career Objective'

Job Offer

Please see 'Offer of Employment'

Job Satisfaction

A number of factors that together determine how well chosen the employee's current position is. These factors may include the company's values, salary, recognition, career opportunities, and especially whether the job fully utilizes the employee's skills and abilities. An employee who does not enjoy job satisfaction can become depressed and unwilling to stretch themselves to their full potential.
The whole labor market is affected by job satisfaction. It’s a major issue in many industries and professions, which are experiencing job losses because of job dissatisfaction and from higher paying lines of work attracting staff away from them .

Job Search Agent

Many job boards now allow users to select certain criteria and have any matching vacancies automatically e-mailed to them. By using such a service, the job seeker is guaranteed not to miss any available opportunities.

Job Search Domino Effect

Please see 'Domino Effect'

Job Security

The degree to which an employee's position is protected from dismissal or retrenchment.
Generally job security is measured by an employer’s provisions to retain staff. Protection of jobs can relate to government policies in some industries, or workplace contracts or agreements regarding tenure.
Some job security options include redeployment and retraining arrangements, and transferal to other departments in the workplace.
Public sector jobs are usually considered to have high job security because of these provisions, and employment legislation.

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing involves a student being present during the course of a work day or other period of time, observing a real job in the workplace, and gathering information and asking questions about that job.
This method also functions as a career exploration method, allowing first hand experience of the career in practice.
By 'shadow' observing workplaces, the job seeker can gather a plethora of information on a variety of career possibilities. This can help him/her focus on one particular course when there's uncertainty as to which career would be preferential to follow.

Job Skills

The necessary skills needed in order to perform a job satisfactorily. For example, a nurse would need good medical and people skills; a train driver needs keen concentration; and an accountant would need good math skills. Relevant job skills should ALWAYS be noted on a job seekers CV.

Job Skills Portfolio

Please see 'Career Portfolio'

Key Accomplishments

A summary of your major achievements/accomplishments that should be included in your CV. Your Key Accomplishments are shown to employers in support of your best claims to a job. They represent your successes.
“Key Accomplishments” is the part of your CV which should be checked with each submission of a job application to ensure that your achievements and successes are relevant to the application. Some editing may be required for every different job application.
This important part of your CV is used for passing preliminary screening of the applications, showing your competitive merits as a potential employee.

Keyword Resume

Please see 'Resume'


Nouns and noun phrases that are easily noticed by an employer whilst scanning a CV. Keywords can mark job-specific skills, profession related skills, industry specific skills, technical terms, descriptions of technical expertise, certifications achieved, previous job titles, and names of products and services.

Labor laws

These are the “industrial relations” laws which govern employment conditions, wages, unions, and most workplace matters.
In countries with Federal governments, there are often state and Federal industrial and employment laws. A state may have a different award wages, penalty rates, and a separate arbitration system for industrial disputes.
Note: Employees and job seekers should have basic knowledge of the labor laws in their profession and their country.

Letter of Acceptance

When offered employment, a letter of acceptance should be sent confirming that the offer will be accepted and reiterating the conditions of employment, including salary, benefits, commencement date, working hours, areas of responsibility, etc.
NOTE: This letter is a formal acceptance of terms and conditions of employment, either as specified by the employer or as agreed by the applicant and the employer. It commits the applicant to those terms.

Letter of Agreement

An outline of the conditions of employment as offered by the employer. Either the employer or the employee can initiate this in the course of negotiation. Remember that it is always best to get an offer of employment in writing, preferably in the form of a contract. Terms specified in contracts and agreements have a legal status, committing the employer and applicant to their terms when signed.
Please also see 'Salary and Salary Negotiation'

Letter of Interest

Please see 'Cover Letter'

Letter of Recommendation

This may be from a teacher, ex employer or other well regarded member of the community, and will support your skills, work ethics, etc. Very seldom used by job seekers nowadays but can be useful to have in circumstances where the recommendee is known to the employer.
The more common modern form of recommendation is professional, or industry oriented, where an applicant is recommended on a professional basis by a senior member of a profession or industry.

Long Service Leave

Long service leave is granted after a period of usually ten years.
This leave is accrued in terms of "weeks of leave per years of service", and is separate from normal holiday/recreation leave. It’s usually calculated on a monthly basis at roughly 1.2 days per month.
For example, if you’ve worked for ten years, you have perhaps four weeks long service leave, plus whatever recreation leave you’ve accumulated.
Generally speaking long service leave can be taken in place of other forms of leave, including emergency leave, recreation leave, leave in lieu of hours worked, etc.

Low Wage Job

Please see 'Low Wage Worker'

Low Wage Worker

Workers who are employed in low paying jobs, often exploited due to their lack of skills, which deprives them of choices in their employment. In some industries, workers are routinely paid minimal wages, like outworkers. Low wage workers live from payday to pay day and have no job security.
NOTE: In most countries wage levels significantly below the norm are illegal. Although wages can vary widely in different nations, where pay is well below the national average, it’s generally considered labor exploitation.

Marketing Preparation

Important to successful job hunting. The strength of a job seeker's preparation will help him or her through the process of finding a suitable position. Prepare interviewing skills (how to market one's self during an interview), CV writing, and company research are all important factors when making marketing preparations.

Maternity leave

Maternity leave is granted to mothers in recognition of the requirements of motherhood. The leave granted is up to two years in some countries, usually one year.
Maternity leave is partly paid leave and partly unpaid, depending on industrial award conditions.
Note: Maternity leave is also related to parental and guardian laws in some countries.


An experienced, usually long term, employee in a position of respect and trust who counsels one or more new members of staff (or sometimes members of staff in lower positions) in order to help guide their careers.
A mentor can either be formal, where the company has asked the employee to mentor one or more members of staff, or informal, where the mentoring has developed naturally.
“Career mentors” are often professional counselors, giving guidance, career perspectives, helping with problem solving, and listening to the concerns of clients regarding their careers.


An employee who has more than one job is known to be moonlighting. This is a phenomenon that appears to be on the rise. Sometimes also known as 'Dual or Multiple Jobholding'


When a job seeker or employee makes contacts specifically with his career advancement in mind. Networking is most often done during professional and business functions, especially those with a social aspect to them.
Networking also comprises personal associations. It’s sometimes considered an “insider” process, in terms of job promotions. “Old Boy” and “College” networks are common terms for personal networks.

Non-Traditional Careers

Examples of non-traditional careers include male nurses and female carpenters. In other words, a non-traditional career is when a person chooses a career path that would not normally be expected of them, generally based on their gender.
Other forms of non-traditional careers include the New Economy jobs and employment structures, where the old day jobs are being replaced by ad hoc variable work situations, like independent contract work, multiple income streams from a series of different simultaneous jobs, in some cases across different skill and knowledge bases.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

The workplace is one of the most dangerous places on Earth. There are millions of injury cases per year, and thousands of deaths.
OHS has several basic functions:

  1. Education and training of employees in safe working practices
  2. Emergency facilities and practices (everything from fire drills to emergency medical treatments)
  3. Reporting of injuries and diseases
  4. Maintaining safety standards in the workplace
  5. Advisory services to employees on the job
  6. Employers are required to provide these OHS services by law.
  7. Employees are required to observe all safety requirements and OHS work practices.
Note: There is a legal obligation on all people in the workplace is to maintain safe working conditions at all times.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

A guide detailing more than 250 occupations including the nature of the work and the typing working environment/conditions for each occupation as well as the requirements for entry and advancement opportunities. Published by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Offer of Employment

An offer made by an employer to a potential employee. An offer of employment should outline the specific terms of employment, including the start date, salary and overall working conditions. Also known as a 'job offer'

Older Workers

Those seeking work who are older than 45. This group of job seekers face greater challenges whilst searching for work than any other group of potential employees. Sometimes also known as 'Mature Workers'


The word “outworkers” was coined to describe people working in Asian clothing production operations for Western fashion houses, often for extremely low pay.
Generally the workers were doing piece assembly work, usually from home or some squalid workplace with no amenities. To make a living, work would literally take all day.
The injustice of this situation, in which people were being paid some tiny sum like 20 cents for a shirt which sold for $100, caused a global outcry and boycotting of some manufacturers.
Note: Everything about outworking is illegal. The wages, the working conditions, and the general


Used by employers to describe job seekers who have one of three points working against them:

An example of an overqualified job seeker would be an office supervisor applying for a job as a typist or somebody who has been working in retail for many years applying for a junior position.
This situation also frequently applies when a worker is “downscaling”, choosing to remain in the work force, but under less stress, and/or with more flexibility in time management.


Overtime is work outside normal business or shift hours. Extra pay is given for this work, including in some countries meal allowances.
Pay is calculated on a fixed rate, like “time and a half”.

Part Time Jobs

A job that doesn't offer work for the amount of hours one would normally work. Some employees chose to take several part time jobs rather than one full time job, while others find that a part time job fits better with their lifestyle.

Part Time Jobs for Teens

Please see 'Summer Jobs'

Paternity leave

This leave is granted to fathers in recognition of parental responsibilities. Leave is usually for up to one year, unpaid.
Note: This leave is not available in all countries.

Payroll deductions

Employees may make direct debit payments through their payroll. Some of the more common deductions are:

  1. Health insurance
  2. Superannuation funds other than employer funds
  3. Bank loans
  4. Credit unions
  5. General insurance
  6. Charities
  7. Union/professional association membership fees
  8. Social club membership
  9. Student loans
Generally speaking these are all regular payments, made on an ongoing basis.
Note: These payments must be authorized by employees in all cases. Employers cannot make any deduction from payrolls without authorization.

Penalty rates

Penalty rates are wages paid for working outside normal business hours other than overtime. Usually these rates are payable for people working on public holidays, weekends.
Some work conducted at night, if not otherwise covered by shift hours, incurs double time wages.
Rates of pay vary from time and a half to double pay

Personal leave (emergencies, bereavements, domestic crises, etc)

Personal leave is leave which is required for personal reasons at short notice.
This leave is usually taken from existing leave entitlements, but the usual options are:

  • Recreation (holiday) leave
  • Long service leave
  • Leave without pay (usually taken when no other leave is available)
In some cases compassionate leave, if available, may be granted.
Note: Personal leave is granted at the employer’s discretion. Disputes can arise where leave is not granted or the employer doesn’t believe the reason for taking the leave.

Portfolio Career

A term given to the situation in which a worker has several part-time positions rather than one full-time position. Part-time positions can include freelance work, temporary employment and self-employment. Portfolio careers are gaining popularity as they offer variety and flexibility. However, only those with good organizational skills should consider a portfolio career.

Private Sector

A business that is engaged in private enterprise. Jobs in private enterprise are very different from those in other sectors, like government, with working conditions usually defined by national labor laws. The rise of the New Economy, with large numbers of independent contractors has changed the definition of the private sector, including the terms and conditions of employment created by the different types of employment.

Professional Associations

These organizations are usually in the higher skilled professions, like law, medicine, and the sciences.
They’re not unions, but they are representative bodies for their professions on the national and international level. The organizations deal with issues like court time delays, the shortage of surgeons, and other matters, including fees and workplace employment issues.

Public Sector

A section of the business community that is largely or wholly owned by the government. Government agencies are designed to administer laws and regulations passed by legislatures, and some public authorities have specific laws which govern them. Employment is regulated, and terms of employment are based on legislation which sets out the rights of employees.
“Non government organizations” are also in this category, like social and community groups like charities, associations, and other non-profit groups. Their activities are covered by laws related to their areas of interest.


Used to describe the results of exams, courses and other achievements. Degrees, diplomas and certificates are all examples of qualifications. Personal attributes that make a person suitable for a position may also be classified as qualifications.

Qualifying Period

The length of time a person must be employed by a company in order to gain certain rights. For example, it may be necessary to work for the company for one year in order to claim staff discounts.
In some cases there are also “probationary periods”. This is a period of employment which is used to determine an applicant’s suitability for the job, while working in that job. Employers have the right to review and if necessary terminate the employment of unsuitable employees.


Sometimes also known as 'Executive Search Firms' and 'Head Hunters'
Professionals who are hired to find suitable candidates for positions with a specific company. They approach potential candidates in order to make them aware of the available position. More often than not, candidates are currently employed by competing businesses, and are hired for their knowledge of competitors and special skills.

Reference List

A listing of a job seekers references. A separate reference sheet should always match the look and layout of your CV (resume) but should never be supplied unless requested. Sometimes also known as 'Reference Sheet'



Previous employers, managers, teachers or other upstanding members of the community who have good things to say about you. Always ask permission before including a person on your reference list. Sometimes also known as 'Referees'
There are two basic types of references:

  • Work-related. Work references are specifically regarding employment. These are usually from workplaces, although occasionally from academic or training sources.
  • Personal. Personal references can be character references, personal recommendations, and at entry level, educational references in the absence or employer references.


Money paid or a benefit given to a person in return for their services. This usually means a salary but can also take the form of a special payment such as a bonus or group of benefits. Please also see 'Benefits Package'

Researching Companies

Please see 'Company Research'


When you quit your job, you 'resign'. A letter of resignation would be the letter given to your employer stating that you intend to leave your current position on a specific date, depending on the amount of notice required.
NOTE: A letter of resignation is a document with legal status.
Your resignation means you have formally resigned, and that any entitlements you had as a result of that employment cease as of the date of resignation.
It also means that your responsibilities for your job cease at the date of resignation.


The number one job-hunting tool that any job seeker MUST have. A resume summarizes your past employment, your accomplishments and your education, including any courses taking in connection with previous jobs. Your resume should reflect who you are based on your specific skills and strengths.

  • Chronological Resume - Organize a chronological resume by your employment history in reverse order - in other words, your last job should be listed first. Include the name of the company, your job title, any relevant accomplishments and the dates your employment began and terminated.
  • Electronic Resume - A resume that is sent to potential employers electronically, either via e-mail, through forms designed to accept your CV on the employers website or via job search boards. Also known as E-Resume
  • Functional Resume - Organize a functional resume by skills and functions.
  • Keyword Resume - An electronic resume where keywords are heavily used throughout in order for the database to easily identify key skills, etc. Keywords should be nouns and noun phrases.
  • Scannable Resume - A specially prepared resume that will be scanned into an employer's database. No longer as popular as they once were - most companies ask for electronic resumes rather than scannable resumes.
  • Text Resumes - As above. Sometimes also known as 'ASCII resumes'
  • Web Based Resumes - A term used for resumes that are posted on the Internet. Web based resumes can be either plain or elaborate, depending on where they reside and who is expected to see them. The same principles apply to Web based resumes as to any other kind of resume.

Role playing jobs

Role play is now a job in itself. In many forms of screening tests and training, role play is an important part of the process.
Role players are essentially "actors", working to the script-like formats of the screening or training.
The work involves a level of realism. Role play is intended to mirror real workplace situations, and skill is required to achieve an efficient level of fluency.


The monetary compensation offered to an employee in return for the services he provides. A salary is part of a 'compensation package'. The way in which as salary is determined differs depending on the company but can be based on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly rate. An employee's total salary will also include any overtime pay, bonuses and commissions. Please also see 'Benefits and Compensation Package'

Salary History

Occasionally an employer will request a job seekers salary history. This tells the employer what level of compensation he can expect to offer you as well as the frequency of promotions you've earned. When compiling a salary history, always include the complete compensation package for each job and not just the salary itself. By providing a salary history, a job seeker can sometimes price himself out of a job, or the employer will offer him a lower compensation package than would otherwise have been the case.

Salary Negotiation

The process during which job seekers attempt to negotiate the best possible compensation package available to them. Salary negotiation is based on the job seekers skills and experience as well as the going industry rate. Please see also 'Benefits' and 'Compensation Package'

Salary Requirement

Some employers will ask you straight out for the figure you require in order to accept a position. If your salary expectation proves to be too high, you'll lose the chance of a job offer - too low and you'll be working for less than your true worth. Try stating that you're willing to negotiate rather than giving an exact figure.

Scannable Resume

Please see 'Resume'

Seasonal Work

Work that is carried out during certain periods of the year only. Fruit picking is a typical example of seasonal work.

Shift Work

A term used to describe work that is performed outside of the normal spread of hours. Shift work is most commonly used when a business operates on a 24 hour basis but can also consist of shifts between certain hours of the day. An example would be a worker who works from 6am - 2pm for one week and then 2pm - 6pm the second week.
Note: In many cases special pay scales and other considerations apply to shift work. It’s advisable to check all details related to any shift, particularly in the “graveyard shift” from 12AM onward.

Sick leave

This is leave granted for medical reasons where the employee is unfit for work.
Generally a certain number of days per year are allowed for sick leave. These days are non-cumulative.
Medical certificates are required for extended sick leave. However, the employer can direct that a medical certificate is produced for any particular sick leave if considered necessary.
Note: These requirements vary, and it’s advisable to be sure under what circumstances medical certificates are necessary.
Special circumstances, where an employee has a condition requiring regular medical attendance, are usually dealt with under special leave arrangements, depending on need.

Summer Jobs

Teens often take summer jobs in order to earn some extra spending money but they're also valuable to the teen's future in that they offer work experience. This is especially so if the job is somehow related to the career the teen is planning. Teens are sometimes limited to working no more than a certain number of hours per week.

Survival Job

These jobs are low-end, low-paying positions that a job seeker takes, usually on a temporary basis, in order to cover the basic cost of living. Generally accepted as a last resort, survival jobs can save a job seeker from losing his home and/or bankruptcy.


An arrangement where the employee works at least one day a week from a location other than the company office, usually at home. This can be a beneficial arrangement for job seekers that are looking for increased flexibility. Sometimes also called 'Teleworking'


When a person works continuous temporary jobs, usually found through a staffing or temping agency. Although temporary, the worker bases his/her working life around this kind of work as it offers increased flexibility and variety. Temping can also be useful for those who need to build a resume as the various jobs will help them learn new skills.

Temporary Agency

A company that finds temporary work for job seekers and places them on a contractual basis. Some temporary agencies provide training. Specialized agencies exist. Also known as 'Temping Agencies' and Staffing Firms'


Job seekers may be asked to take any number of tests that will give the employer a better indication of aptitude, skill, knowledge, problem solving abilities and personality.
Many of these tests are progressive screenings, successful applicants “passing” to the next stages.
Medical tests are sometimes mandatory, and any medical testing requirements are required to be specified in job ads. Drug testing is not unusual.

Text Resume

Please see 'Resume'

Thank You Letter

Whenever a job seeker has been given an interview, he/she should send a letter thanking the interviewer for his time. Not only is this courteous, it will remind the interviewer who you are. As only a small proportion of job seekers actually send a thank you letter, doing so will help you stand out from the crowd.


A person who is employed whilst being taught 'on-the-job'. Some trainees are sent on an outside course one or two days per week.

Transferable Skills

Also known as “portable skills”. It’s a generic term applying to skills which are transferable across a range of jobs. Whether job, project, hobby, parenting or sport related (or learned anywhere else), these are skills are transferable to the job you're seeking. An example is a mother of a special needs child seeking a position as classroom assistant for special needs children.

Trial Period

Most employers will employ a person with a trial period. If the trial period is for three months, at the end of this time (or during), the employer can ask the employee to leave without notice and without the employee being able to claim unfair dismissal or redundancy. The idea of a trial period is to test whether or not a person is suitable for the position.


Young graduates will little or no work experience are often frustrated by being underqualified (or unqualified). This can also be a problem for those who are looking to change career paths.

Unfair Dismissal

When an employee is dismissed for no good reason or without the employer going through the agreed company dismissal procedure. An employee can appeal against unfair dismissal based on labor laws.
Note: Because of the usual complexity of unfair dismissal cases, when appealing it is advisable to obtain professional assistance from either a union representative, workplace arbitration advocate, or legal advice.

Unions and union membership

Unions were originally instituted as representative organizations of workers to negotiate pay, rights, and conditions. Unions were largely responsible for the modern workplace conditions, against often severe opposition.
Union membership isn’t compulsory. It’s voluntary.
Union membership can affect employment, because of the historical employer-union hostility.
The effectiveness of modern unions in dealing with industrial laws and governments is much debated.
Note: Union membership is legal, just about everywhere.

Unskilled Work

Positions which require no particular skills or qualifications. These usually involve simple manual operations that can be learned in a short time.


Stand for 'Unique Selling Proposition' and refers to the one thing about a product or service that makes it distinct from any others on the market. Just as products have USPs, job seekers need to find the one thing that sets them aside from the competition.


Please see 'Resume'


A person's occupation or profession when considered a suitable long-term career. A person is said to have found their vocation when they've found a career that they're 100% happy with.


A person whose work becomes more important than personal or family life. A workaholic lives for his/her career, spends time only with work colleagues and rarely takes time out to relax. Even during vacations, the workaholic will be thinking about work and will probably remain in touch with the office. Workaholics seldom function well in purely social settings and will often revert to discussing aspects of their work.
In some cases workaholics suffer notable medical problems, including symptoms of high stress, anxiety, and psychological disorders like depression.

Workers compensation

Compensation is awarded to workers who suffer workplace injuries. This compensation given under a formal assessment process governed by industrial law.
During the assessment, an employer may dispute the terms of compensation, or whether compensation is payable at all. Disputes can develop into court actions. Compensation is sometimes highly contentious, and cases of fraud by employees are known.
Note: Anyone engaged in a workers compensation case must seek professional assistance. This is particularly complex law, and the medical issues must be represented properly. It’s very important that the person claiming compensation understands their rights in relation to their specific case.

Workplace Values

A combination of concepts and ideas that give a worker contentment both when on the job and at home. When an employee isn't happy with his workplace values, his home life is often affected so it's important that a values check is made on a regular basis to ensure that the current position is still the right one.

Zero Hours Contract

A legally binding contract that states that you are obliged to work when asked to but that you will not be paid when you are not needed. A zero hours contract should be avoided at all costs.