Placements and Graduate Jobs – Jargon Buster

It can be very confusing when applying for work experience, placements and graduate jobs; there is a lot of technical language or words that seem similar. This blog will help you navigate around some of the terms commonly used in applications.

Jargon Buster

Jargon Buster

This is the person applying for the position – you. You may also be referred to also as a prospective employee or job seeker. In cover letters, it is always a useful idea to explain why you may be the perfect candidate for the position you are applying to.

Private sector and Public sector opportunities
Those in the private sectors are corporate companies there to usually make a profit. Public sector opportunities usually fall under government contracts and legislation such as working in the NHS, councils or state schools.

B2B and B2C

Business-to-business sales describe the process of one business selling their services/products to another business. In contrast B2C sales are those between a Business and consumers. A company can be both B2B and B2C too!

Psychometric tests
Psychometric testing refers to the process of measuring a candidate’s relevant strengths and weaknesses. This form of measurement is primarily employed to assess employment suitability, including company-candidate fit. Unfortunately, they can be a little complicated and timed (usually ranging from fifteen to thirty minutes per test).This can include numerical tests, behavioral questions and many others. The trick is to practice all these type of tests as much as you can before the real thing!

FBL Placements - Tests

FBL Placements – Tests

Competency Questions

This is a very common process for large companies who offer opportunities for students and graduates. It can be defined as your core strengths or the specific skill set you need for the position. Normally they can ask you for particular examples of when you showed a specific personal quality such a leadership or team work.

Assessment Centre

An assessment centre is a technique used in the selection of candidates for a job in an organization. It is most often used to help determine which employees have the potential to be promoted into management positions. It employs a variety of techniques and multiple observers in a closed setting. The Careers destinations at the University of Southampton offers assessment centre practice and CV workshops.

Remuneration/ Benefits package

This usually can be defined more generally as the job or positions’ salary but may include non financial perks such as a company car, free transport or even a gym membership.


If you work in sales or marketing, you may get commission. You have a basic salary and for every sale you make you get a percentage of the profit. The more you sell, the more you earn. You have more motivation, which is good for you and for the company.

With regards to any term or phrase you do not know in any application, it is always best to do some research or ask someone for advice. The placement office at the University of Southampton is always open to help you with interview tips, CV improvements and much more.

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