Blueprint4Careers Glossary of Important Terms

Blueprint4Careers has lots of information to help you plan your next step in your career journey. Listed below are definitions for important terms. Click on the + to read the definitions. 

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ATS is software employers use to help them filter and file the many resumes they receive. Most systems are designed to quickly scan resumes for relevant information, and identify the resumes that are the closest match for the job description.

Employers may compensate their employees with additional benefits outside of salary such as health insurance, paid vacation time, tuition assistance, retirement benefits, and more. The types of benefits employees receive vary by company. 

A written or spoken agreement, especially one concerning employment, sales, or tenancy, that is intended to be enforceable by law.

Also known as independent contractors, contract workers are usually hired for a set amount of time. They are generally highly skilled workers with technical or professional backgrounds. Employers tend to use them for special projects, pay them higher than temps and use them for longer periods of time. Benefits may not be included.

The abilities and experience that make someone suitable for a particular job or activity, or proof of someone’s abilities and experience. A career credential is generally a paper proving someone’s ability to complete a job. 

A letter to an employer that states why you are qualified for the position, why you are interested, and the type of work you are interested in. Accompanies a resume.

Reasonable wage rates for a specific occupation.

Self-employed professional who works independently for companies or clients. Freelance workers are hired by companies for special projects or to supplement key staff. Freelance workers often set their own hours and pay; however, the flow of work can be unsteady. Freelance workers are more frequently used in arts and creative projects such as graphic and web design, social media, etc.

A GED is a certificate an adult can receive through testing in lieu of a high school diploma. The GED test consists of the following five subtests: Social Studies, Language Arts/Writing (2 parts), Science, and Mathematics (2 parts).

The HR Department is the department responsible for the recruiting, training, and welfare of employees in an organization.

A position, often held by students and those new to employment and often without pay, which offers training and real-world experience in a particular company or setting.

A letter which a reference sends to an employer to vouch for one’s work ethic, character, qualifications, employment history, or skills. 

The median salary for a career is the midway point of all salaries in that career. Half of the people who work in that position make less than the median salary, while the other half of the people in that position make more. 

A job which requires more education and training than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree.

The lowest wage per hour that an employer is allowed to pay for work in a given period.

College certificates and certifications allow students to obtain expertise in a variety of fields. Upon completion of a college certificate program, students generally receive a certificate of completion or certificate of achievement, not a degree or diploma. Candidates may be able to transfer college certificate credits to degree programs at other colleges, depending on the institution and degree program.

The O*NET Program is the nation’s primary source of occupational information. Valid data are essential to understanding the rapidly changing nature of work and how it impacts the workforce and U.S. economy. From this information, applications are developed to facilitate the development and maintenance of a skilled workforce.

Central to the project is the O*NET database, containing hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors on almost 1,000 occupations covering the entire U.S. economy. The database, which is available to the public at no cost, is continually updated from input by a broad range of workers in each occupation.

O*NET information is used by millions of individuals every year, including those taking advantage of O*NET Online, My Next Move, and other publicly and privately developed applications. The data have proven vital in helping people find the training and jobs they need, and employers the skilled workers necessary to be competitive in the marketplace.

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) through a grant to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

To visit the website, click here.

A recurring length of time over which an employee’s time is recorded and paid. Examples of pay periods include weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, and monthly.

A Pell Grant is a Federal program which awards money to eligible, low-income undergraduate students so that they may attend a post-secondary institution. Post-secondary schools include universities, colleges, or trade and additional schooling. Unlike other Federal financial aid or a loan, The Federal Pell Grant Program does not require repayment of the grant funds. To learn more about this program, click here.

A regular payment made during a person’s retirement from an investment fund to which that person or their employer contributed during their working life.

A collection of a candidate’s work and project history to highlight samples of past projects used in order to obtain a new job.

A written record of one’s academic and professional achievements, skills, and other details meant to briefly and quickly sum up an applicant’s eligibility for a position.

Payment, typically paid on a monthly or bi-weekly basis made by an employer to an employee.

A federal insurance program that provides benefits to retired people and those who are unemployed or disabled. To learn more, click here

A temp is a worker hired for a set amount of time. Temps usually fill in for employees on vacation, to pick up the slack while a company replaces someone who has quit or to lend an extra hand during particularly busy periods, such as the holiday season. 

A position where an employee is hired on a temporary basis but may be hired on full-time.

A skilled job, typically one requiring manual skills and special training. 

An amount of money that is paid to an employee for hours worked.

President Barack Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Congress passed the Act by a wide bipartisan majority; it is the first legislative reform in 15 years of the public workforce system.

Learn more about WIOA by clicking here.

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