Every industry has terminology and acronyms that are specific to that industry. People in the industry use those terms and acronyms as if everyone knows what they are talking about. And I guess if you are working in that industry you do need to know what they are talking about. Regardless, this can be very confusing for new people. It can be like trying to read and understand alphabet soup. There is no way for me to list all of the thousands of terms and acronyms but I would like to give you a few of the most common business and marketing ones. There are many more even in these two fields but the following are either so common that you will probably hear them because they cross most industries or they are very popular at the current time.
C.E.O. – Chief Executive Officer. This is the head of a business.
C.F.O. – Chief Financial Officer. Larger businesses can have extremely complex finances. They need someone trained in finances. That person is their CFO.
P.R. – Public Relations. This department makes sure the public has a good opinion of the business.
H.R. – Human Resources. This department handles personnel related functions.
I.T. – This started out as Internet Technology but has morphed to be Information Technology. These are your computer tech people.
S.O.P. – Standard Operating Procedures. These tell you how the job is supposed to be done.
C.O.B. – Close of Business. You will hear people say they need something by COB. This happens more often in an 8-5, Monday – Friday type business.
M.O.U. – Memorandum of Understanding. This is a contract.
T.O.S. – Terms of Service. This is another type of contract.
R.F.P. – Request for Proposal. When a governmental agency needs a service or item they put out a request for proposal. Businesses that can meet the requirements put in their submissions for consideration. This is used to try to get the best deal.
P.O.C. – Point of Contact.
L.W.O.P. – Leave without Pay. This is a designation that indicates a person is away from work without pay.
C.P.U. – Can mean different things depending on the industry. In a business that sells items it means Cost per Unit. In the I.T. field it means Central Processing Unit.
R.O.I. – Return on Investment. When you make an investment, regardless of what it is, the money you get back beyond the amount you put in is your ROI.
B2B – Business to Business. Transactions between businesses.
B2C – Business to Customer. Transactions between a business and its customer.
R&D – Research and Development. This is the department in your industry that comes up with the new ideas.
The following acronyms are used in the marketing field.
P.P.C. – Pay per Click. This refers to a type of advertising. Websites can allow businesses like Google AdSense to put PPC advertisements on their websites. The websites make money when readers click on the advertisements.
C.P.C. – Cost per Click. Cost per click is the actual amount a business ends up paying for each click on an internet advertisement. Businesses bid on the advertising spots.
C.T.R. – Click through Rate. I’m going to quote Wikipedia on this one so you get a more exact definition. “The ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement.” I imagine this helps Google determine how successful a platform your website is for their ads.
S.E.O. – Search Engine Optimization. This refers to making your website as friendly as possible to search engines with the intent that the website will be on the first page of results for that type of search.
As I said, there are many, many more. If you know what industry you want to go into you should do a little research to find out what terminology and acronyms are used. Knowing them is one of those things that won’t gain you much if any positive acknowledgement. What it will do is make your new co-workers feel more comfortable about your knowledge level. If they have to explain them to you their respect for your knowledge will drop. You’ll have to work at bringing it back up. Don’t start your career in a hole. Learning those terms before you get in the door is a small, easy thing that can smooth your way in a new job.