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    16 Office Terms That Every New Grad Needs to Know

    “Can you BCC me on that PTO email by EOB?” This is a drill—we repeat, this is a drill: that sentence may actually come out of your supervisor’s mouth at some point. When that day comes, be prepared—take a few minutes now to ensure that you’re up to speed on your office terminology.

    The guide below contains 16 commonplace office terms that every new graduate should be familiar with. Check it out and be confident that you’ll understand what your future boss is saying (without a dictionary).

    Tip: Are you leaving your old job in search of greener pastures? End things on a good note with these 8 steps to quitting gracefully.



    Not to be confused with a CV (although some people do use them interchangeably), a resume is a shorter summary of your key skills and work experience. Typically resumes are no longer than 1 to 2 pages, and they are meant to answer the question “Why should we hire you over other applicants?” Resumes are preferred in the United States and Canada.

    Used in a Sentence: “If I see another resume with neon font, I’m going to scream.”


    Short for “Curriculum Vitae,” a CV is a lengthier document (at least 2-3 pages) that details your work experience, strengths, objectives, and education. This is a more standardized, formal document than a resume, and is preferred in many European countries.

    Used in a Sentence: “I sent my CV to the hiring director, called three times, and sent flowers. Too much?”

    B2B, B2C, C2C, and C2B:

    The four types of ecommerce organizations. Business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer, and consumer-to-business, respectively.

    Used in a Sentence: “Our organization sells office equipment to B2B and B2C companies and individual consumers, but the traditional industry is being disrupted by ecommerce C2C and C2B companies!”


    Known by other names—confidentiality agreement and proprietary information agreement, among others—a non-disclosure agreement is a contract that specifies proprietary company material that cannot be shared by employees.

    Used in a Sentence: "A non-disclosure agreement is a nice way of saying ‘If you tell anyone, we’d have to kill you.’”



    Two foundational email terms that you couldn’t avoid if you wanted to. CC stands for “carbon copy” and BCC stands for “blind carbon copy.” In both cases, the recipient you’re CC’ing or BCC’ing in the “To:” field gets a copy of your email, however, BCC’ed recipients aren’t visible to other recipients of your message.

    Used in a Sentence: “When I sent that cheeky response to the email chain you CC’ed me on, I didn’t realize that the CEO was BCC’ed as well!”


    “End of business,” “close of business,” or “end of day,” respectively. Typically, this refers to a deadline by someone whom you can’t refuse.

    Used in a Sentence: “I know it’s already 4:45 PM but if I could have this back by EOB today, that would be great!”

    80/20 RULE:

    Also known as the Pareto Rule or the Pareto Principle, this idea states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. For instance, focusing on your 2 biggest clients that drive the most revenue rather than being distracted by 8 smaller clients.

    Used in a Sentence: “If I brought up the 80/20 rule, do you think that my manager will let me ignore email forever?”

    Tip: When it comes to building a productive, fulfilling career, there are a few things that managers wished more employees knew. 



    Paid time off or personal time off, which can encompass vacation days, personal time, and sometimes sick days.

    Used in a Sentence: “Do you think I’ve accrued enough PTO to make every weekend this year a three-day weekend?”

    Tip: Struggling to make it through to vacation time? Discover 6 ways to thrive in open office spaces.


    Also called flex-time or flex working, this refers to the ability for each employee to set their own work schedule around their personal preferences. For instance, the ability to set your own starting and ending times, a split schedule, or implement a 9/80 schedule, where you work 80 hours in 9 workdays and have 1 day off every other week.

    Used in a Sentence: “With flextime, I can push my start time back and go to goat yoga every morning before work.”


    An additional perk that supplements your foundational employee package (e.g., salary, bonuses, etc.). This could include a company vehicle, or free lunch at the office, for example.

    Used in a Sentence: “I’ve received offers from 2 companies but only 1 is offering any fringe benefits, so my decision is pretty easy.”

    School is behind you and the future looks bright. Before applying for positions, be sure to review our favorite strategies for showcasing your leadership experience and landing the job.

    Then, contact us with your onboarding questions to hit the ground running in your new position!

    Topics: HR
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