401(k) – A 401(k) Plan is an employer-sponsored (or employer-funded) retirement plan where the investment is covered by the employee with a potential match from the employer. Employees pay into their own 401(k) plan through paycheck deductions and employers may match their contributions as additional money to be received upon retirement. Whatever is put into that 401(k) amount during the length of employment is then paid out in monthly payments to the employee once they retire. See Retired.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – This is a software tool used by some organizations to automate applicant screenings when they’re looking to fill a job opening. ATS uses predetermined criteria to flag or reject resumes and help simplify the employer’s process of looking through applications. Typically, ATS is used by companies or organizations that hire a larger number of employees or receive many applications for highly desirable positions.

Apprenticeship – An Apprenticeship is paid and supervised on-the-job training that helps an individual (apprentice) pursue a trade or profession. The on-the-job training is provided by an employer and is supplemented with classroom training that can be at a high school, community college, technical training school, online, or even with an employer. Apprenticeships are available to individuals 16 and older and can range in length from 1 to 6 years. Upon completion of an apprenticeship, the apprentice will earn credentials to enter the field as a professional and receive an increase in pay. Registered apprenticeships are programs nationally recognized by the US Department of Labor with standards that both apprentices and employers have to follow.

Baby Boomer – Baby Boomers are the demographic group of individuals born after World War 2, roughly from 1946 to 1964. This group is largely already retired or retiring from the workforce.

Benefits – Employee Benefits are provided to employees in addition to wages or salary by the employer. Not all employees receive benefits or the same benefits and not all employers offer benefits. Benefits may include medical insurance, paid time off, mileage reimbursement, stipends, 401(k), pension, stock options, or others.

Blue Collar – Blue Collar is a term used to describe types of jobs that typically involve manual labor or working conditions that do not involve working in an office or at a desk. The opposite of blue collar would be “white collar.”

Career – Careers are the whole or sum of your work and skills learned over time. A career can also be your professional aspiration. For example, if you had jobs as a nail tech, hair stylist, and skin care, you can say your career is in beauty, or if you are working in an apprenticeship towards becoming a carpenter, your career would be carpentry or “a carpenter.”

Career Objective – A Career Objective is a section near the top of a resume that states what you are trying to accomplish with the new position and employer as well as why you should be considered. The career objective section is optional and dependent on the type of resume format you use, but if you choose to use a career objective, you will not need a professional summary since one is used in place of the other.

Chronological Resume – A Chronological Resume is the most common format of a resume where an applicant lists their work history from most recent to least recent. In their work history, they list their responsibilities and accomplishments under each position they held. Chronological resumes may also include a header, education, professional summaries, career objectives, and summary of skills.

Contract Employee – These employees or workers are brought on by an employer specifically for projects or for a fixed duration of time. These employees agree to terms and wages on a contract and may be re-hired after the contract is complete for another contract or as full-time/part-time employees, but that is not guaranteed. Contract employees are also called independent contractors.

Cover Letter – A Cover Letter is a supplemental document that employers may request with your resume. A cover letter is under one page long (2-5 paragraphs) and is a brief explanation of who you are as a professional and your reason for applying to this job, as well as providing context to your resume. For more info, check out this resource on the basic structure of a cover letter.

DEI / Diversity Equality and Inclusion – DEI is a policy adopted by companies that encourage the value of diverse voices, backgrounds, and beliefs through a sense of belonging in the workplace. DEI also advocates for impartial and fair access to resources, support, platforms, and opportunities in the workplace for all employees, regardless of title, background, physical ability, age, beliefs, gender, race, etc.

Employment Gap – An Employment Gap is the amount of time between jobs. Employment gaps are expected with layoffs, life events, or personal decisions, but can be concerning on resumes if the employment gap lasts longer than a year. If they would like, job seekers can explain employment gaps on a cover letter or in an interview.

Experience –The competence and capabilities a job seeker has for future employment gained from prior employment and work responsibilities. Experience can also extend to education, training, volunteer positions, job shadows, and more.

Full-Time –When an employee is hired to work at least 40 hours per week. These employees typically have a set weekly schedule and are eligible for benefits packages.

Functional Resume – A functional resume lists qualifications for a job applicant by focusing on skills or areas of expertise, instead of listing work history in chronological order. The body or main section of a functional resume will support skills or areas of expertise with bullet points of professional accomplishments and previous responsibilities. Functional resumes are useful for applicants who have significant gaps in their work history, are changing careers, or re-entering the workforce. These resumes may also include a header, education, professional summaries, and career objectives.

Gen X – Gen Xers or Generation X are the demographic group of individuals born in the mid-late 1960s to early 1980s (~1965 to ~1980). This group has been well-established in the workforce and nearing retirement going into the 2020s.

Gen Z – Gen Zers or Generation Z are the demographic group of individuals born in the late 1990s to early 2010s (~1997 to ~2012). This group is entering the workforce in the 2020s.

Hourly –An hourly employee is compensated or paid wages for each hour worked. Hourly employees may also be able to receive overtime pay (additional pay) for any hours beyond 40 in a week if they are non-exempt (which is usually the case). The opposite of an hourly employee is a salaried employee.

Human Resources / HR – Human Resources is the department within an organization that is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training new employees in addition to other duties like overseeing benefits, payroll, and company policy. Typically, when an applicant is submitting a resume, human resources will be the main contact from the employer side.

Hybrid Resume – A Hybrid Resume is a combination of a functional resume and a chronological resume. It lists the highlighted skills and achievements in one section and work experience from most recent to least recent in another section. Hybrid resumes may also include a header, education, professional summaries, and career objectives.

Hybrid Work (Remote and On-site) – A mix of remote and on-site work where an employee is asked to be present some days and able to work remotely/virtually others.

Internship – An internship is either part-time or full-time work that is predetermined to begin and end on given dates. Internships can be unpaid and available to students or recent graduates as a means to help them learn about a career interest or profession. Internships are short-term and take place during summer breaks or semesters/terms, but can last a year or more. After completing an internship, an employer may choose to offer the intern a full-time position.

Interpersonal / Soft Skill – Soft Skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, and mindsets which are desirable in all professions. While employers look for candidates with the training and education needed to perform a specific job (hard skills), they’re also interested in hiring employees who have developed soft skills that are important to getting work completed in a team environment.

Job Hopping – Job Hopping is a term used to describe an applicant who has a history of working for a short period with one employer before moving to another employer (mostly because of personal choice). Job hopping is becoming more common, but can create hesitancy for an employer to hire someone based on their history of changing companies. If you are a job seeker concerned about being seen as a job hopper, you can use a functional resume and explain your job changes in your cover letter or in interviews.

Job Market – The Job Market or labor market is where employers and employees search for one another. The job market can operate with a supply and demand relationship between employers and employees and sometimes you may hear terms like competitive job market (where employees are competing for openings) or a healthy job market (where there is a favorable balance of employees to job openings).

Letter of Recommendation – An email, written letter, or form that a reference (see Reference) will provide an applicant or directly to an employer, advocating as to why an applicant should be considered or hired. Some employers may request a letter of recommendation for applicants.

Millennial – Millennials or Generation Y are the demographic group of individuals born in the early 1980s to mid-1990s (~1981 to ~1996). This group has been well-established in the workforce going into the 2020s.

On-site – Considered the “traditional” workplace environment, where employees would all physically work in the same office, on the same campus, or on the same site. The opposite of this would be remote or virtual work.

Overtime – In the US, Overtime is the amount of hours worked over 40 hours in a week for non-salaried employees. Overtime pay is the rate of pay for each overtime hour and is at least time and one-half (or 1.5x) of their regular wage rate. For example, if an employee earning $12/hr works 50 hours in a week with overtime pay that is set at time and one-half, they will receive ($12 x 40) for the regular week + ($18 x 10) for the ten overtime hours.

Paid Time Off / PTO – Paid Time Off or PTO is a benefit provided by employers. PTO is where employees can use accrued hours for personal time off (not working) while still receiving, and not missing, regular pay on those days of absence. PTO is accrued by employees each pay period. Not every employee is eligible for PTO and PTO is different for each employer as well as how much PTO an employee receives per year.

Part-Time – Part-Time is when an employee is hired to work less than 40 hours per week. This allows an employee some flexibility to work a second job or focus on other responsibilities; however, the scheduled work days may not always be consistent from week to week. Typically, part-time employees are not eligible for benefits.

Pension – A Pension is an employer-sponsored (or employer-funded) retirement plan where the investment is covered by the employer. If the employee meets the minimum number of years of employment at the company required to receive the full amount (AKA be “vested”), then the pension is paid out to an employee on a monthly basis after retirement. Employees may also make additional contributions in some cases. See Retired.

Private Sector – Jobs or companies where the owner(s) is not related or connected with the government.

Professional Etiquette – Professional etiquette is an accepted form of conduct and communication that employers, colleagues, and others uphold to create an agreeable and productive environment. When you interview for a position, message through email, and interact with others, professional etiquette is expected, and having a good grasp of it can greatly help your career goals.

Professional Summary – A Professional Summary is an optional section near the top of a resume that introduces you to the reader (employer) through a brief synopsis or summary of your qualifications (work history, skills, etc.). The professional summary section is optional and dependent on the type of resume format you use, but if you choose to use a professional summary, you will not need a career objective since one is used in place of the other.

Public Sector – Jobs where the government is seen as the employer and payer.

Qualifications – Qualifications are a combination of your education, training, experience, skills, and personal attributes that make you a candidate or eligible for a position. Hiring managers or employers list qualifications on job postings to find candidates they think would be ideal for that position. Most of the time, applicants do not have all qualifications asked in a job posting, but can still apply or explain how they have a similar qualification in the cover letter or an interview.

References – Individuals who will offer a professional recommendation to an employer on behalf of a job seeker. A job seeker should confirm with individuals whether they can be a reference so they can prepare what to say if they are contacted by an employer and speak highly of the applicant. References are professional connections and can be a job seeker’s prior co-workers, bosses, coaches, landlords, professors, teachers, and volunteer supervisors.

Responsibilities – Responsibilities are the duties, tasks, projects, goals, or work assigned to or taken on by an employee. In a sense, responsibilities are why you are hired for the position and what you are expected to complete. You will list responsibilities that you had with previous employers on your resume and talk about your responsibilities when you interview.

Retired – The age or point when an individual withdraws from the workforce and their profession. The traditional age for retirement in the US is 65, but more people are retiring later in their life to continue earning a regular income. Social Security and other benefits collected in the US over an individual’s working career will help offset the costs of retirement and not working. For military service members, the term retirement is when an individual has been in the military for 20 years or more and is separating to become a civilian.

Remote – Also known as virtual work, work from home, or WFH. This is where individuals are able to work outside of a traditional office environment shared with coworkers, most likely working on their computer, from home.

“Right to Work” State – A Right to Work State is a state that has passed legislation to allow residents or employees in the state to work without being forced to join a union or pay union fees. Idaho is a right to work state.

Role –A role is another term generally interchangeable with position, title, or occupation. A role is the purpose that an employee has at a company or organization.

Salary – A salaried employee has a pre-determined annual amount of compensation and works around 40 hours per week (full-time), but may be expected to work over 40 hours without additional compensation (overtime pay). To offset the discrepancy in hours worked, salaried employees usually receive higher yearly compensation than hourly employees from wages and benefits.

Seasonal Employee – Seasonal Employees are similar to temporary employees, but they are usually hired for specific events when staffing needs are higher than the remainder of the year, like November and December holidays, summer breaks, agriculture harvesting, etc. Seasonal openings are not as selective for hiring as long as employees can perform basic functions to help the employer when needed.

Sick Time / Sick Days – Sick Time is when an employee is absent from work in order to recover, rehabilitate, or avoid getting others in the workplace ill. Sick time is accrued by an employee and is usually separate from paid time off, but some employers may combine paid time off and sick time into one bank of hours accrued where an employee will pull from.

Small Business – This is a term used to describe a company in the private sector that has annual revenue or employee size below a certain threshold. For example, a small manufacturer may have less than 500 employees and a small agriculture company may make less than $750,000 in annual revenue. Most businesses or employers in the US are considered small businesses. Small businesses vary and have different resources available in the hiring process compared to larger companies.

Social Security – When working in the US, workers can receive federal insurance from the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Program, more commonly known as Social Security. Social Security is financial compensation paid out by the US Government to qualified individuals through retirement or disability benefits. In order to receive Social Security retirement benefits, workers must have paid taxes from their income towards the Social Security system for at least 10 years and will be eligible once they are 62 years old. For retirees, social security benefits will be paid to them monthly to offset the cost of not working.

Technical / Hard Skill – Hard Skills are job-specific abilities or knowledge learned through education, hands-on experience, or training. Hard skills might be things like knowing HTML for coding, taking and recording a patient’s vital signs, or completing a lab test. The opposite of technical skills is soft skills also known as interpersonal or people skills.

Temporary Employee – Temporary Employees are hired to work with a company or employer for a set amount of time. These employees may be filling in vacancies from employees on leave or help meet the staffing needs of employers, but they are not permanent positions. Some temporary employees may be hired on as part-time or full-time employees after completing their term, but it is not guaranteed.

Underemployed – Underemployed is a term used for an individual who is employed, but working in low-paying jobs or who is working in a part-time job but would rather be full-time. Underemployed can also mean when an employee is working a job below their skill set. Essentially, underemployed is when an individual is underutilized or not working at their full capacity.

Unemployed – Unemployed is a term used for an individual who is employable and actively looking for work, but not working or unable to find employment. Unemployment reports are measures of individuals who are unemployed.

Unions – Unions are organizations of workers who collaborate to have a collective voice and make negotiated decisions with employers about conditions, wages, benefits, and other aspects of their work or industry.

White Collar – White Collar is a term used to describe types of jobs that involve working behind a desk or in conditions that do not involve physical or manual labor. The opposite of white collar is blue collar.

Work From Home / WFH – Also known as Remote. Where professionals are able to work outside of a traditional office environment shared with coworkers, most likely working on their computers from home.

Workforce – The Workforce or labor force is the demographic group of people who are interested in working, available to work, and are either employed, unemployed, or underemployed. Students, stay-at-home parents, and retirees are not considered part of the workforce if they are not actively working or searching for work.

Workplace Culture – Also known as company culture, corporate culture, or organizational culture, workplace culture is the general environment of your company’s combined history, goals, beliefs, actions, attitudes, and expectations. Workplace Culture both influences employee behavior and is influenced by employee behavior.