When reading job adverts, you will often come across phrases that may need explanation. Here are a few of the most common ones:
About you – This is the bit where they describe the type of person they are looking for. It may include skills, experience and/or personality traits. The more their description sounds like you, then the more likely they want people like you to apply.
Essential – If a skill, experience or qualification is listed as essential and you don’t have it, think hard about whether you should apply, as your chances of success are low.
Desirable / Optional /Preferred – If a skill, experience or qualification is listed as desirable, optional, or is preferred, this means that people with those skills are more likely to get the job, but it is still worth applying. You may still be the best person for the job even without them.
Competitive salary – The amount you would be paid is similar to similar roles in other organisations. It might mean they haven’t decided what the salary will be. It might depend on your skills and experience. Find out what other similar roles are paying by doing an online search for a salary checker.
DBS Check – A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is a certificate you apply for to show that you do not have a criminal record. You will need an enhanced DBS check for some roles working in health care, with children or with vulnerable adults. If you need a DBS Check for the job (but don’t currently have one), your employer will handle the application for you, and your job may depend on having it.
Fixed Term – The job is only for a limited period of time. This is usually the term of your contract.
OTE (On Target Earnings) – For many sales jobs, there is a basic salary which is topped up with the commission you earned, based on how much you sell. There is no guarantee you will get the higher figure. If you are not comfortable and fluent in speaking and selling face to face, avoid these types of jobs. For example, it might say £20,000 salary £40,000 OTE.
Pro-rata – For part time jobs, this is where the salary you see (which is usually the Full-time equivalent) will be divided in proportion to the number of hours you work. For example, a £37,000 job, which is part time over 21 hours (if their standard work week is 37 hours) would pay you £21,000 a year pro-rata. Your annual leave (holiday leave) is worked out the same way.
Proven Track Record – They are looking for someone who has done a very similar job before (or has the same skills in a different sector or environment). For example, if you have managed complex IT database projects and the job is in app development, that might not matter as much as the project management skills you have.