[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in2CxdfnKUI?rel=0&hd=1&w=560&h=349]

The Script

What does proficient mean? And, what's the difference between strong knowledge and expert skills? It seems like job postings are written in some sort of secret code, which is a shame, because job seekers may not apply if they don't understand the job description or the qualifications. I'm Cat Miller and we're translating the secret language of  job postings on this edition of DiceTV. First, don't be put-off by job titles. Read the job description to see if you qualify because there's no standard definition for terms like junior, senior or lead or company-specific titles like: "Systems Admin One" or "Network Communications Three." The successful candidate rarely has all of the required skills and experience-- that's why job postings often refer to the "ideal" candidate. Since the job duties and qualifications are usually listed in order of priority consider applying if you satisfy the major requirements on the top half of the list. Now, let's decipher the code. "Working knowledge" or "familiarity" means you know how to perform the task but haven't done it yourself. "Real-world" means on-the-job experience, not something you learned in the classroom or in a certification course. "Proficient" or "knowledgeable" means you can handle a task or duty or have general knowledge of a software program, but you may need training on advanced functions. "Strong knowledge" means you can hit the ground running with little to no training or coaching. And, "expert" means you know every aspect of a software program or task and can train others. Employers often use terms "required" or "must-have" for non-negotiable qualifications while optional skills are listed as "preferred," "desirable," or a "plus." In some cases,  employers will accept experience in lieu of education. Remember, when listed skills are  connected by "or" rather than "and," that means you'd qualify by satisfying any one of the requirements on the list. So don't let the particular language of job postings scare you away from opportunities that really are a great fit for you and your skill set. I'm Cat Miller and this has been DiceTV. We now return you to your regular desktop.