Glossary

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Accommodation: a modification or adjustment to assessment mechanisms and/or job duties to facilitate the participation of people with disabilities

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

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

Applicant: a person submitting an application on a Yukon government employment opportunity

Assessed Qualifications: those qualifications which generally cannot be measured from a resume and which establish the comparative strengths of candidates (knowledge, abilities and personal suitability)

Assessment: a method for evaluating candidates’ knowledge, abilities and personal suitability (e.g., interviews, tests)

Assessments: These tests ask you a series of questions and try to provide you with some sense of your personality and career interests. You shouldn't rely on the results of these tests by themselves, but the results can be a good starting point for discovering more about yourself and your interests and considering careers you may not have thought of.


 

Background Check: Used by employers to verify the accuracy of the information you provide on your resume or job application -- and beyond. On the rise as prices fall on these services. Items checked include: employment verification, educational background/degrees, references, credit history, medical records, driving record, court records, criminal records, and more.

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

Bona Fide Occupational Requirement: a standard or rule that is integral to carrying out the functions of a specific position

Business Plan: A complete overview for a business, from development of a vision and mission of the business to the setting of business goals to the reasons why organization (or person) is in business to the detailed plan for reaching those goals. A business plan may also contain background information about the organization and management team attempting to start and run the business. Detailed analysis and information about the product or service, marketing and branding strategies, and key competition should all be included. Business planning should include both short-term (1-year) and long-term (3-5 years) goals and plans.


 

Career Activist: Someone who is proactive in planning, evaluating, directing, and controlling his or her career rather than simply reacting as situations arise. (Some call this approach career mapping.) A career activist has an enduring interest in understanding and achieving his or her full career potential, while maximizing career marketability.

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

Career Change: Changing your occupation by devising a strategy to find new career choices. Most experts now predict that the average person will change careers three to five times over the course of his or her work life. Change may occur because you don't enjoy the work as much as you used to. Or maybe you can't progress further in your career.

Career Coach: Also called career consultant, career adviser, work-life coach, personal career trainer, and life management facilitator. These professionals have been likened to personal trainers for your life/career, serving the role as your champion, cheerleader, advocate, mentor, partner, and sounding board on all issues related to your job or career search.

Career Exploration: The process of finding a rewarding career path, as well as specific jobs within a particular career path. Think of career exploration and planning as building bridges from your current job/career to your next job/career. People of all ages -- from teens trying to explore careers for the first time to mature workers seeking to find a new career for re-careering -- use various methods of career exploration to help uncover careers that offer fulfillment.

Career Fair: There are many types of job and career fairs -- from those scheduled during Spring Break for college students to industry-specific fairs for professionals -- but they all have a common theme: a chance for a company to meet and screen a large volume of potential job candidates while simultaneously an opportunity for job-seekers to meet and screen a large number of employers.

Career Objective/Job Objective: An optional part of your resume, but something you should contemplate whether you place it on your resume or not. While once very common, it has now fallen from favor. While it can help sharpen the focus of your resume, most job-seekers never did so, using vague language.

Career Planning: The continuous process of evaluating your current lifestyle, likes/dislikes, passions, skills, personality, dream job, and current job and career path and making corrections and improvements to better prepare for future steps in your career, as needed, or to make a career change.

Candidate: a person being considered for a Yukon government employment opportunity

Casual Employee: a person engaged on a casual or temporary basis whose employment is not intended to exceed 6 consecutive and continuous months (6 months less a day)

Cold Call: When a job-seeker approaches an employer (usually through an uninvited cover letter) who has not publicly announced any job openings.

Competencies: work related skills and behaviour needed to effectively perform in a role (e.g., leadership)

Competition: a process for screening, assessing and selecting qualified people for a job

Condition of Employment: a legitimate job requirement or standard which a candidate must meet in order to be able to perform the functions of the position (e.g., driver’s license, medical check, security clearance)

Confidentiality: ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorized

Conflict of Interest: an association with a candidate through a business or personal relationship that could influence or appear to influence the fairness of the competition process

Contract Employee: a person engaged for a defined, specific period of time (in excess of 6 months), and usually for time-limited needs into specific positions

Contract Employee: Where you work for one organization (and its salary and benefit structure) that sells your services to another company on a project or time basis. Compare to freelancer.

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

Counter Offer/Counter Proposal: A salary negotiation technique used by job-seekers when a job offer is not at an acceptable level. Almost all elements of a job offer are negotiable, including the salary, non-salary compensation, moving expenses, benefits, and job-specific issues.

Cover Letter: Should always accompany your resume when you contact a potential employer. A good cover letter opens a window to your personality (and describes specific strengths and skills you offer the employer). It should entice the employer to read your resume

  • uninvited (cold contact) cover letter -- The most common type of cover letter, since such a large percentage (80-95 percent) of the job market is "closed," meaning the job openings are not advertised. Usually part of a direct mail campaign in which the job-seeker is trying to uncover hidden jobs. See a sample letter.
  • invited cover letter -- Written in response to an advertised opening, whether in a newspaper, trade publication, on the Internet, or even on the company's bulletin board. Employer expects -- and even welcomes the cover letters. See a sample letter.
  • referral cover letter -- An extremely effective type of cover letter that springs from networking efforts. The referral letter uses a name-dropping tactic as early as possible in the letter to attract the reader's attention and prompt an interview.

 

Declining Letter: A letter sent to an employer to turn down a job offer. The writer should keep the door open in case he or she would like to approach the employer again someday.

Degrees & Certifications: Recognition bestowed on students upon completion of a unified program of study, including high school, trade schools, colleges and universities, and other agencies.

Disability: a physical or mental condition, or a health problem, that has been medically verified and that restricts or limits an employee’s ability to perform some or all of the duties of their position

Dress for Success: First coined by author John Malloy in the 1970s, the term Dress for Success signifies tailoring one's attire, grooming, and overall appearance toward making a great first impression in a job interview -- as well as maintaining a professional look while on the job to aid career advancement. Will dressing properly get you the job? Not by itself, but it will give you a competitive edge and help you make a positive first impression.


 

Elevator Speech: A a 15- to 30-second commercial that job-seekers use in a variety of situations (career fairs, networking events, job interviews, cold calling) that succinctly tells the person you are giving it to who you are, what makes you unique, and the benefits you can provide.

Eligibility list: a list with the names of job candidates who have certified on a competition in order of their ranking on the competition

Email Cover Letter: A cover letter (see Cover Letter) that is sent to the employer electronically via email. There are different rules that apply to writing these kind of cover letters, though the fundamental principles remain the same. Read more.

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

Employment Equity: refers to equal opportunities for employment to the 4 government designated groups: Women, Visible Minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, and Persons with disabilities

Entrepreneur: Someone who starts and runs his or her own business -- who organizes, operates, and assumes both the rewards and the risks from running the enterprise. It takes specific traits to operate a business, including accounting and financial skills, sales and marketing skills, time management and organizational skills, planning and implementation skills, and the ability to have a vision to fulfill an unmet (or poorly met) need better than competitors.

Equivalency: a combination of experience, education/training and demonstrated abilities which is considered equal to the identified essential qualifications

Essential Qualifications: the education and/or training combined with previous work/voluntary experience and demonstrated abilities necessary to perform the duties of the position


 

Follow-Up: An often overlooked and critical part of job-hunting. In the early phases of searching for a job, job-seekers must be proactive in showing continued interest in all job leads -- contacting employers after you've submitted your resume. Read more. Follow-up is also important after the job interview, first with a thank-you letter, but then also with contact expressing your interest and fit for the position.

Freelancer/Consultant/Independent Contractor: Where you work for yourself and bid for temporary jobs and projects with one or more employers. Freelancing is not an alternative to hard work, but many people enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and satisfaction of working for themselves.


 

Hidden Job Market: Only about 5-20 percent of all job openings are ever publicly known, which results in about four-fifths of the job market being "closed," meaning you can't find out about any new openings unless you do some digging. Strategies for uncovering the hidden job market include networking and cold calling. Read more. See networking and cold calling.


 

Informational Interviewing: Just what it sounds like -- interviewing designed to produce information. What kind of information? The information you need to choose or refine a career path, learn how to break in and find out if you have what it takes to succeed. It's the process of spending time with one of your network contacts in a highly focused conversation that provides you with key information you need to launch or boost your career.

Internships: One of the best types of work experiences for entry-level job-seekers because a majority of employers say experience is the most important factor in whether you're hired. Internships involve working in your expected career field, either during a semester or over the summer. Besides gaining valuable experience, you get exposed to the business environment and gain valuable references and network contacts.

Interview: a formal process where pre-determined questions are asked by the interviewers to a candidate to obtain information regarding knowledge, skills, abilities and personal suitability


 

Job Application: Sometimes also referred to as an Application for Employment. Many organizations require you to complete an application (either to get an interview or prior to an interview). Even though many of the questions duplicate information from your resume, it is extremely important to complete the application neatly, completely, and accurately.

Job Boards: Also referred to as Job Sites. There are five levels or types of job boards: general job boards, industry-specific job boards, geographic-specific job boards, job-seeker specific "niche" boards, and company career centers.

Job Interviewing: All about making the best matches. Both the employer and the job-seeker want to determine if the fit is right between them. First impressions are key (see "dress for success"), and preparation is critical to interviewing success. Read more. See also: • screening interviews -- usually conducted by a member of the human resources department, the screening interview is designed to weed out unqualified candidates. Providing facts about your skills is more important than establishing rapport.

  • Traditional Interviews -- uses broad-based questions such as, "why do you want to work for this company," and "tell me about your strengths and weaknesses." Interviewing success or failure is more often based on the job-seeker's ability to communicate and establish rapport than on the authenticity or content of their answers. Read more.
  • Behavioral Interviews -- based on the premise that past performance is the best indicator of future behavior and uses questions that probe specific past behaviors, such as "tell me about a time where you confronted an unexpected problem" and "tell me about an experience when you failed to achieve a goal." Read more.
  • Panel/Group Interviews -- uses a committee of people, usually around a table, asking questions. The key to this type of interview is to balance eye contact with both the person who asked the question and the remainder of the group.
  • Case Interviews -- used primarily by management-consulting firms to determine how well suited you are to the consulting field. Case interviews measure problem-solving ability, tolerance for ambiguity, and communication skills along several dimensions. The idea is to find out how well you identify, structure, and think through problems. Read more.
  • Situational Interviews -- sometimes also referred to as a scenario-based (problem-solving) interview, where the job-seeker is placed in a hypothetical situation (such as dealing with an irate customer), and is judged by how well s/he reacts to complex information and ability to resolve problem and arrive at solutions. Read more.
  • Stress Interviews -- usually are a deliberate attempt to see how you handle yourself under pressure. The interviewer may be sarcastic or argumentative, or may keep you waiting. Expect these things to happen, and when it does, don't take it personally. Calmly answer each question as it comes. Also called intimidation interviews. Read more.
  • Phone Interviews -- have only one purpose: to decide if there is a good enough match to justify a site visit. Make sure to set a specific time for your telephone interview -- not just "sometime this week."

Job Requirement: an inherent characteristic of the position (e.g., working shifts, wearing a uniform)

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

Job Skills: The skills you need to do a particular job. For example, an accountant needs to have good math and accounting skills; a doctor needs to have good medical, scientific, and personal skills.


 

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

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


 

Lay Off: the status of a regular employee whose employment has been terminated because of lack of work or discontinuance of a function

Letter of Recommendation: A letter of support for your skills, ability, and work ethic, usually written by a former boss or co-worker, but could also be from a teacher or personal reference. Good for applying to graduate school, but seen as fairly worthless in job-hunting because no one who would write you a recommendation letter would say anything negative about you.


 

Mentor: A person at a higher level within a company or within your profession who counsels you and helps guide your career. Some organizations have formal mentoring systems, while most informal mentoring relationships develop over time. A mentor relationship is one where the outcome of the relationship is expected to benefit all parties in the relationship for personal growth, career development, lifestyle enhancement, spiritual fulfillment, goal achievement, and other areas mutually designated by the mentor and partner.

Merit: the knowledge, abilities and suitability of a person in relation to the requirements for a position

Moonlighting: The experience of working multiple jobs (also referred to as dual or multiple jobholding). People working multiple jobs come from just about every demographic group. This appears to be on the rise.


 

Networking: Involves developing a broad list of contacts -- people you've met through various social, professional, and business functions -- and encouraging them assist you in looking for a job. People in your network may be able to give you job leads, offer you advice and information about a particular company or industry, and introduce you to others so that you can expand your network.

Non-Verbal Communications: What you don't say in a job interview may be just as important as the content of what you do say. Non-verbal communications are about how you present yourself -- what you say to the interviewer through activities such as handshake, eye contact, facial expressions (including smiling), body posture, and hand gestures.


 

Offer of Employment: An offer by an employer to a prospective employee that usually specifies the terms of an employment arrangement, including starting date, salary, benefits, working conditions. can also be called a job offer.

Overqualified: A label employers often use on mid-career job-seekers who appear to have one of three flaws: too many years of experience, too much education, too highly paid in current or previous job.


 

Passive Job-Search: A strategy where employed workers stay prepared for new job and career opportunities by maintaining a current resume, continuing to network, staying registered with one or more job-search agents. You are not openly on the job market, but keep an interest in new possibilities.

Personal Suitability: those personal characteristics required of an employee in order to perform the job in the desired manner (e.g., tact, diplomacy, leadership)

Probationary Period: a period during which an employee’s conduct and performance are assessed to determine whether the employee’s appointment should be confirmed or terminated


 

Questions: Toward the end of most job interviews, the interviewer will give the job-seeker an opportunity to ask questions. Doing so shows your interest in the position and employer. The key is to ask at least a few questions -- and not easily answered questions (such as, "what are your major product lines?") that you should know from your research, but thoughtfully prepared questions.


 

Recruitment: the methodology and activities associated with attracting job candidates to apply for advertised vacancies within an organization

Reference: an inquiry and confirmation with a third party of a candidate’s past work history/experience, responsibilities and performance level as it relates to the position the candidate is being considered for

Reference Sheet: Simply a listing -- with key contact information -- of your references. Never include references on your resume or cover letter; they should be listed on a separate references sheet that matches the look of your resume.

Researching Companies: The process of gathering information about a company, its products, its locations, its corporate culture, its financial successes. This information is extremely valuable in a job interview where you can show off your knowledge of the company, and can also help you in writing your cover letter.

Resigning/Resignations: When you decide it's time to quit your job (also referred to as giving notice), it's always better to submit your official resignation -- with your industry's customary amount of notice. Whenever possible, do not leave on bad terms with your employer.

Resume: A key job-hunting tool used to get an interview, it summarizes your accomplishments, your education, as well as your work experience, and should reflect your special mix of skills and strengths. Read more. See also: • chronological resumes -- the most common type of job-seeker resume, it's a resume organized by your employment history in reverse chronological order, with company/job titles/accomplishments/dates of employment.

  • Electronic Resumes
  • Functional Resumes -- a resume organized by skills and functions; bare-bones employment history often listed as a separate section.
  • Keyword Resumes -- an e-resume typically identified by a keyword summary (and heavy usage of keywords throughout resume) that emphasizes key nouns and phrases.  
  • Scan-able Resumes -- a resume that has been prepared to maximize the job seeker's visibility in an electronic resume database or electronic resume tracking system. Becoming somewhat less important as more and more companies simply request electronic versions of resumes. Text resumes -- also referred to as text-based or ASCII resumes, a resume that has been prepared to maximize the job seeker's visibility in an electronic resume database or electronic resume tracking system.
  • Video resumes --a video resume is a short video of the job-seeker essentially selling himself or herself to potential employers. Contrary to its name, a video resume is not your resume on video but actually a short promo enticing the employer to take a look at your "real" resume.
  • Web-based resume -- a resume that resides on the Web. A Web-based resume can range from quite ordinary to very elaborate. Fundamental principles of good resume writing, content, and design apply.
  • Curriculum Vitae -- also called a CV or vita and similar to a resume, but more formal, and includes a detailed listing of items beyond the typical resume items, such as publications, presentations, professional activities, honors, and additional information. Tends to be used by international job-seekers, and those seeking a faculty, research, clinical, or scientific position. Read more.

 

Screening: the process of reviewing applicants’ resumes against the essential qualifications and determining which applicants meet those qualifications and warrant further assessment

Social Networking: A process for helping make connections with other people, developing a personal career "brand" identity, and maintaining a good online reputation. While social networking has traditionally involved meeting people in person, social networking now also includes networking through Websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and others. The key success of any social network is not just the people you know -- or whom you are friends with -- but also with all the other people they know. See also networking.


 

Term: a position within an organization which has a specified end date (typically temporary)

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


 

Underemployed: A person who is not working full-time at a level that matches his or her education, experience, and other qualifications.  Someone who is working part-time, but seeks full-time employment; or, someone who is working in a lower-level position that requires less experience or skills (thus making the person overqualified for the position).

Under-qualified: The under-qualified or just plain unqualified label most often plagues new graduates with limited experience, as well as career-changers whose experience is outside the area they now wish to pursue.


 

Volunteering: Offering your services free of charge, typically to a not-for-profit organization. Some college graduates volunteer right after college before starting their careers, which job-seekers considering a career change can use volunteering work as a great tool to gain experience in a new career field, as well as establish new networking contacts.

Vulnerable Persons: persons who, because of their age, a disability or other circumstances, whether temporary or permanent, are: in a position of dependence on others; or otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by persons in a position of authority or trust relative to them


 

Workplace Values: Concepts and ideas that define a job-seeker and influence your satisfaction -- not only with your job, but with your life. Job-seekers should perform a values check every few years to make sure your career is on track.

Workplace Wellness Programs: Encourages employees to take steps to prevent the onset or worsening of a health condition, eliminate unhealthy behaviors and habits, and promote the adoption of healthy lifestyles. There are two types of wellness programs. First, there are insurance-based programs (that lower premiums if employees agree to certain lifestyle changes). Second, there are employer-based programs (in which the employer is truly trying to change the lives of its employees for the better).