Job Hunt Jargon Buster

Ever get that 'WTF?!' feeling when you're reading a job advert? You're not alone. Here's what happened when we quizzed some unsuspecting students on common corporate lingo...

To combat all this confusion, we've decoded 5 common corporate terms from 5 common graduate career paths. Simply pick the industry that interests you, brush up on the key terms and be baffled no more!

Marketing & Advertising

SEO – This abbreviation stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’ which describes the process of increasing a website’s visibility in search engines like google, without paying for the privilege.

CPC/PPC – ‘Cost-per-click’/ ‘Pay-per-click’ is a particular kind of marketing in which a company pays a pre-agreed price every time a person clicks on their advert.

Copywriting – The words used in an advertising/marketing campaign.

HTML – Hypertext mark-up language. This is a kind of basic skeletal code marketers and developers use when building web pages or emails. You can train yourself up on this kind of programming language here.

E-marketing – This is another term for digital or online advertising which exclusively involves the promotion of a brand over the internet, be that through emailing, SEO, social media or mobile marketing.


FTSE - A common acronym for the ‘Financial Times and Stock Exchange Index 100’. Essentially – this indexes the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. It’s traditionally thought of as a clear indication of the top performing companies in the UK.

Procurement - Put plainly, this describes the act of a company buying the goods and services they need in order to survive and grow.

Audit - This refers to an official inspection of an organisation's accounts, typically carried out by an independent body.

Risk - Financial organisations have to consider the possible risks and losses that they might make before making investments. Risk management involves identifying such risks and trying to mitigate these as much as possible before acting.

Asset management - This describes the act of monitoring/ managing a client’s investments, usually carried out by an Investment Bank.


CPE/GDL - Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law. This is the year long conversion course in England and Wales which non-law graduates must take before working in the Legal industry.

Magic Circle - Refers to the 5 leading law firms in London. As it stands, these are - Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen and Overy, and Slaughter and May.

Training contract - Supervised work within a firm of solicitors – the completion of which is essential in order to qualify.

Seats - Usually three/four month periods spent in different areas of a legal practice during a person’s training contract.

Pupillage - This is specific to England and Wales and refers to a year of supervised work that all Trainee Barristers must undertake.


PGCE - ‘Postgraduate Certificate in Education’ – 1-2 year course which focuses on the development of teaching skills (as opposed to the subject you want to teach), the completion of which can be done at Universities across the UK or through a programme of in school teacher training that organisations like Teach First provide.

NQT - Newly Qualified Teacher who may also be referred to as having QTS – Qualified Teacher Status.

TEFL - The abbreviated term for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’. You can gain a TEFL qualification through various different organisations, usually attained on completion of a classroom, online, or overseas course.

DBS (formerly CRB) check - The necessary protocol carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly Criminal Regulation Bureau) for those working with children to ensure suitability.

TA - Common abbreviation for a Teaching Assistant who helps a qualified teacher in the running of the classroom. There are no nationally specified requirements or compulsory qualifications for this role.

Sales and Recruitment

B2B and B2C - B2B -  (Business-to-business) sales describe the process of one business selling their services/products to another business – not to be confused with B2C sales: those between a Business and consumers.

Executive Search - Akin to ‘Headhunting’, these companies look for individuals, often at executive or senior level, to fill a position at a client company.

Company Mapping - This is a technique used by executive search firms to understand the industries their clients work in. It usually involves phone and internet based research to determine how a company is made up in terms of departments, team members and management.

Business Development - The process of seeking and forging business opportunities with new clients as well as managing the company’s existing client relationships.

KPI - The acronym for ‘Key performance indicators’, this is a formal term that refers to the targets a company will set for individuals and/or departments in a Sales/Recruitment environment in order to quantifiably track performance.  

Do you have anymore phrases you'd like us to decode for you? Comment below with the terms you've been grappling with and we'll do our best to make sense of them for you.

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Career Close Up: Sales
10 Inflated Job Titles


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