Careers Advice

Understanding placement jargon

Team member Nicola Meikle, who has been busy promoting our paid placements, decodes some of the most common phrases employers use in placement adverts.

Published: 19/10/2016

When you’re searching for your ideal ScotGrad placement, you might come across some language that is unfamiliar to you.


It can often be particularly tricky trying to work out what type of person an employer is looking for, and whether your skills and attributes match up. Organisations regularly use buzzwords and acronyms to find out about a candidates’ personality, ability and experience. Once you get your head around what it is the recruiter is looking for, you’ll be perfectly placed to show off what you have to offer.


Attention to detail

You may have already read ScotGrad’s guide to CV writing, so you will already know to spell check your CV for every application. However, if an employer is looking for someone with a close attention to detail, triple-check your CV and application for spelling and grammatical errors before submitting.



This is one of the most common phrases employers use in their candidate specification. Candidates often tend to describe themselves as ‘dedicated’ or ‘driven’ in their applications to demonstrate their motivation to work hard and their commitment to self-improvement, go a step further and include an example where you showed this quality. They want to hire people who will work hard and always look for ways to improve the organisation and themselves.



If you’re confident taking on new tasks, learning new skills or finding creative solutions to problems, you should fit the bill as a dynamic person. Employers regularly specify dynamism as a desired characteristic to attract people who are unafraid to challenge themselves by taking on something new.



Organisations which specify flexibility as a requirement are looking for employees to be open to changes in their role to meet changing demands. In some cases, you may be asked to travel within your role, or work outside your normal hours for occasional events.


Team player

Organisations want new recruits to fit into the company culture and positively contribute to the team. While many applicants would describe themselves as a good team player, you can stand out from the crowd by using an example of a time that you went out of your way to help a colleague, or team member to achieve a goal.


Individual sectors and roles will have their own jargon and acronyms relating to the specific roles advertised and their industry. However, some of the most commonly used acronyms on placement adverts include:



B2B/B2C – Business to Business/Business to Consumer

Particularly relevant to sales and marketing placements, these acronyms define who the organisation’s target market is.


DOE – Dependent on Experience

Some placement salaries will vary depending on the level of experience you have.


P.A. – Per Annum (per year)

Most graduate placement salaries are calculated on an annual basis. If the placement is shorter than 12 months, the salary will be calculated on a pro rata basis.


SME – Small and Medium-sized Enterprise

Nine out of 10 enterprises in Scotland are SMEs – an organisation that employs fewer than 250 people and whose annual turnover does not exceed £50m.


Remember you can get expert advice on your application and CV from your Careers Service. Contact them here.