12 commonly used and confusing phrases in job adverts explained

Every month thousands of vacancies are listed on Job Mail and various other job portals on the internet and in dozens of publications in South Africa. The majority of listings are pretty straight forward and are easily understood by most job seekers. Unfortunately some job listings are not: they contain phrases that may seem like a foreign language to others. Great news is that Job Mail is here to help.

Job Jargon

Because I know that this issue frustrates job seekers who are not in the know, I have compiled a list of 12 commonly used and confusing phrases in job adverts and their definitions to make life a little easier for you, check it out below:

P/T: Some recruiters use this abbreviation in their listings. This indicates that the listing is for a part time position.

F/T: This abbreviation is also commonly used and might confuse you. This indicates that the listing is for a full-time position.

CTC (Cost to Company): This abbreviation is usually used when a potential employee’s salary is indicated in a listing. CTC basically indicates the total amount of expense an employer (or organization) will be spending for an employee in a year. It’s not the actual salary of an employee – it also includes all the facilities an employee is getting during the service period (e.g. pension, UIF, etc.). It’s basically the gross amount on your payslip before deductions.

P/A (Per Annum): This abbreviation is also used after a salary amount is indicated in a listing. This amount is not the amount you’ll earn in a month, but the amount you’ll earn in a year.

Dynamic: Usually used to describe the kind of candidate that a company wants for a job. By definition a dynamic individual or person is someone who’s confident when taking on new tasks and projects, who can solve problems and find creative solutions to improve things.

Proven track record: When a recruiter uses this phrase in an advert it means that they want to see evidence of the experience that you have listed on your CV. If you apply for work, make sure that you have a portfolio (if you’re looking for work in a creative field) and make sure you have documented proof if you apply in another field.

Pro-active: Some employers might use this in a listing. The definition of a pro-active person is someone who takes positive action to bring about change without too many instructions.

Self-starter: This phrase is used for someone can see what needs to be done and that can take action without guidance and orders from superiors. This phrase maybe used if the recruiter wants a potential candidate to take charge of a project on short notice.

Team player: Another phrased used to describe a candidate. Someone who is a team player can fit into a company’s culture and work effectively with different types of people. Your potential employer will be impressed if you could give them an example of a time you worked on a task outside of your normal job description to help a team achieve a goal.

Market related salary: This phrase basically means that you will be paid a salary that’s industry standard for someone in the advertised profession. Recruiters usually state this in a listing if they don’t state an accurate salary amount.

AA (Affirmative action): This abbreviation is commonly used in SA job adverts. This means that the company advertising the position will only consider formerly disadvantaged people.

EE (Employment equity): Another commonly used abbreviation in SA job adverts. This means that the company is considering job applications from all race groups, depending on the company demographics at the time the position becomes available.

There you have it, 12 commonly used and confusing phrases in job adverts, explained. If you can think of a phrase that might confuse your fellow job seekers, feel free to comment on this article and let us know. You are also more than welcome to ask us if you’re unsure about a phrase. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here.

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Watch this space for more Job Seeker updates on the Job Mail Blog.

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Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Channel Co-ordinator / Blogger at Job Mail

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