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Here are some common abbreviations that you will come across in job advertisements and correspondence. But note that it might sound unprofessional if you use too many abbreviations in your application. Try to avoid abbreviations if possible and write the full word. You shouldn’t, for example, write “As already stated in your ad in the Times…”. Write “As already stated in your advertisement in the Times…” instead. However, you can write “Encl.” or “Enc.” at the end of your CV.

Furthermore, make sure that you keep correspondence with your soon-to-be employer on a professional basis. It might seem rude if you use too many abbreviations in an email you write to your recruiter. Once you are employed and more familiar with your employer you can of course use abbreviations now and then but don’t overuse them.

Please note that there are variations. For example, some abbreviations may be capitalised or not (ASAP or asap) or they may be followed by a full stop or not (appt. or appt).


Abbreviation Abbreviation for
ad advertisement
appt appointment
ASAP / asap as soon as possible
asst assistant
attn attention
BA / BSc Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
ben / befts benefits (in addition to a salary, such as a company pension scheme)
blgl bilingual
bus business
CEO Chief Executive Officer
CFO Chief Financial Officer
COO Chief Operation(s) Officer
cert certificate
CL cover letter
CV curriculum vitae
dept department
dip diploma
doe depends on experience
doc document
encl / enc enclosed / enclosure (written at the bottom of a cover letter, for example: "Encl. CV")
eng engineer / engineering
essent essential
exp experience(d)
FAO for the attention of
FAQ frequently asked questions
fax res (send) resume per fax
f/m female/male
f/t / FT full-time
GPA grade point average (of college or school exams)
hrs / hrs/wk hours / hours per week
HR Human Resources
jr / jnr junior
k ($20k) thousand ($20,000)
loc location
LV luncheon voucher
MA / MBA / MSc Master of Arts / Master of Business Administration / Master of Science
MD Managing Director
mgr manager
nec necessary
neg negotiable (for example, some salaries may be negotiable)
on spec on speculation
p.a. per annum
PA Personal Assistant (assistant to a manager)
p/t / PT part-time
perm position permanent position
PIN Personal Identification Number
PhD Doctor of Philosophy (this is the most common doctor's degree awarded by universities)
pref preferable
ref reference
reg regards / regarding
reqd required
sal salary
sec secretary
sr / snr senior
tel telephone
temp temporary
USP unique selling point
wpm words per minute (typing speed)

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