Decode Job Search Jargon

Before Pinterest, to create a bulletin board, you had to cut out magazine articles and photos. I used to stuff these clippings into folders and when recently cleaning out a closet came across a job search folder from 2007. In it was the above gem.

While the original article in the November issue of Self Magazine by Janene Mascarella translated five of the most common corporatese into plain language was directed at interviewing, you can use the same tips and suggestions in your cover letter. Keep the job description in hand when you write the letter and underline key phrases and repeat them (if applicable). Then if you do score an interview, get out the job description again and review it once more.

In case you can’t read the scan, the details are below. Italics are additions to the original reporting.

  1. Meticulously detail-oriented means “you always follow through and not just follow up,” says David Nour, a consultant in Atlanta. Think: putting ideas into action after a meeting. Prove you’re it by asking about the company’s challenges in the interview, explain how you’ll meet them.
    This is still really good advice. By asking about the challenges and providing solutions or at least how you’ll work within those challenges means your interviewer will be picturing you in the company. 
  2. A team player means you care less about personal glory than about seeing the company succeed. If someone is slacking, you’ll forgo blaming and offer to help. Prove you’re it by including a collaborative project in your portfolio and specify how you contributed to it.
    You can also explain how you work with different personalities and contribute to the team environment in your current or past positions. 
  3. Strong analytical ability means you can glean valuable insights from raw data and use them for the company’s gain by, say, seizing on a trend before the competition. Prove you’re it by describing a work situation in which you brilliantly solved a thorny problem or blazed a new trail.
    It’s finally cool (at least in most circles) to be good at math and analytics (thanks to social media!), don’t be afraid to show how you created a spreadsheet that displayed a trend or gave you the proper insights to make a decision. You don’t have to be working on a budget to use numbers.
  4. A dynamic go-getter means you’re high in stamina (but not hyper), motivated and focused. You will channel your energy to the work hustling to get it done. Prove you’re it by underscoring your drive by describing how your responsibilities have grown with each position held.
    Don’t be afraid to say you look at deadlines like a challenge and always strive to meet expectations. Explain how you find workarounds for the inevitable roadblocks that come up in projects. You can also give examples of how you work well independently or with minimal supervision. 
  5. Superior interpersonal skills means you’re ubertrustworthy and intuitive. Understanding a client’s needs and collaborating to meet them come naturally to you. Prove you’re it by showing stellar people smarts on the interview by asking at least two sincere questions.
    You can start with the challenges question from the first tip. You can also reiterate how you’ve worked on sensitive (without divulging too much information) projects or with a large team. This is really code for minimal drama. The company wants to hire someone who won’t make interpersonal waves and will strive to get along with everyone.

What do you think? Are these tips still relevant?