As a business, your communication style affects your brand. Take business abbreviations — there are hundreds, maybe even thousands. Some obvious. Others less so. Below is a list of common 200 business abbreviations and acronyms with tips on when to abbreviate…or not.

When to use business abbreviations?

When using business acronyms and abbreviations, think about your audience. Abbreviating words might be unclear to your reader (e.g. potential new hires or customers) especially if you are using internal jargon.

The American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide says to use abbreviations sparingly to “maximize clarity.” If you are going to use them, be sure to spell them out first.

When are abbreviations ok? Here are some instances where its ok to use business acronyms and abbreviations:

  • if you use a word/phrase 3+ times in a document (e.g. job description, report, manual), then using the abbreviation the 4th time, 5th, time, etc. is ok. There might be some exceptions to this rule for extra-long phrases like “Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound goals”. For this one, we would spell it once, then use “SMART goals” moving forward.
  • if you are using it internally where the audience understands the meaning (e.g., “ATS” ( Applicant Tracking System) is well understood in an HR department; “CRM” (Customer Relationship Management) is understood related to sales.
  • the phrase is too long or cumbersome to type (or say out loud) repeatedly (e.g., “Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats” has 11 syllables versus its abbreviation “SWOT”). This goes for abbreviating company names too. International Business Machines has 9 syllables (IBM has 3). A good rule of thumb: if using an abbreviation cuts the syllables by one-third or more, go for it.

Business Abbreviations List

A note on automation first. The volume of abbreviations is so large that you might want to use software to help flag it.

Our team recently launched a new feature in Text Analyzer (proud plug!) that flags business acronyms, job title abbreviations, and job title acronyms that you might want to spell out.

For example, below is Ongig’s software analyzing a job description called A&MS Circuit Design Engr, Sr I. You’ll notice that it flags the different abbreviations and acronyms and gives a pop-up that spells them out.

Now, let’s get on to the business abbreviations and business acronyms list.

(Note: You might find some cross-over between business acronyms and job title acronyms in the lists below. I divided them into 2 lists for easier viewing.)

Business Abbreviations

AIDA — Attention, interest, desire, action

AP — Accounts Payable

API — Application Program Interface

AR — Accounts Receivable

ASIC — Application-specific Integrated Circuit

ATS — Applicant Tracking System

B2B — Business to Business

B2C — Business to Consumer

BD – Business Development

Biz Dev — Business Development

BPM — Business Process Management

BR — Bounce Rate

C2H — Contract to Hire

CAD — Computer-aided Design

CMS — Content Management System

COB — Close of Business

Co-op — Cooperative Education

Corp — Corporate or Corporation

CPC — Cost Per Click

CPU — Computer Processing Unit or Cost Per Unit

CR — Credit or Conversion Rate

CRM — Customer Relationship Management

CSR — Corporate Social Responsibility

CSS – Cascading Style Sheet

CTA — Call To Action

CTH — Contract to Hire

CTR — Click Through Rate

DevOps — Development and Operations

DOE — Depending on Experience

DR — Debit

EMEA — Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

EOD — End of Day

EOW — End of Week

EPS — Earnings Per Share

ERM — Enterprise Risk Management

ERP — Enterprise Resource Planning

FTE — Full-Time Employee

FTP — File Transfer Protocol

GA — Google Analytics

HR — Human Resources

HRIS — Human Resources Information System

HQ — Headquarters

IP — Internet Protocol

IT — Information Technology

ISP — Internet Service Provider

KPI — Key Performance Indicator

KSA — Knowledge, skills, and abilities

Mgmt — Management

MLM — Multi Level Marketing

MoM — Month over Month

MTD — Month to Date

NDA — Non-Disclosure Agreement

OPS — Operations

OS — Operating System

PA — Performance Appraisal

P-Card — Purchasing Card

P Design — Product Design

P/E — Price to earnings

P&L — Profit and Loss

POC — Point of Contact

PPC — Pay Per Click

PR — Public Relations

PTE — Part Time Employee

PTO — Paid Time Off

PV — Page View

P Verification — Product Verification

QA — Quality Assurance

QC — Quality Control

R&D — Research & Development

RD — Research & Development

REQ — Requisition

RFP — Request for Proposal

ROA — Return on Assets

ROI — Return on Investment

ROR – Ruby on Rails

ROS — Run of Site

RT — Retweet

SaaS — Software as a Service

SCM — Supply Chain Management

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SerDes — Serializer/Deserializer

SMART goals — Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound goals

SM — Social Media

SMB — Small to Medium Business

SME — Subject Matter Expert

SMM – Social Media Marketing

SoC or SOC — System on a Chip, System Organization Controls, or Security Operations Center

STRAT COMM — Strategic Communications

SWOT — Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

TA — Talent Acquisition

Tech – Technology

TQM — Total Quality Management

UI — User Interface

USB — Universal Serial bus

UV(s) — Unique Visitor(s)

UX — User Experience

VPN — Virtual Private Network

WKR — Worker

WFH — Work From Home

WOM — Word of Mouth

YTD — Year to Date

Now onto the job title abbreviations list:

Job Title Abbreviations List

Job title abbreviations have almost the same rules as business acronyms and abbreviations. Sometimes it’s ok to use acronyms if they are widely known in your industry or are better for search engine optimization (SEO).

For example, I searched ahrefs.com for “CEO jobs,” something a candidate might search for on Google. The result shows “CEO jobs” has 600 queries per month on Google. Then I searched “Chief Executive Officer jobs” in ahrefs, and it only has 30 searches per month. This shows that “CEO” is a more SEO-friendly title than “Chief Executive Officer.”

I tried one more for comparison. “Executive Assistant jobs” has 1,300 queries on Google each month, while “Exec Asst jobs” has less than 10. So, in this case, you would want to choose the spelled-out version of the job title to get more traffic from candidates.

Ongig’s Text Analyzer gives you job title suggestions and flags acronyms, so you can use the data to decide what works best in your job descriptions.

Now, on to our list of the most-used job title abbreviations in job descriptions.

Job Title Abbreviations

AA — Accounting Assistant

AAMS — Accredited Asset Management Specialist

AASA — Assistant Area Sales Advisor

ADV — Advisor

AM — Account Manager

AMB — Area Business Manager

Acct — Accounting

Acct Mgr — Accounting Manager

AD — Assistant Director

Admin — Administrator

Admin Asst — Administrative Assistant

ADV — Advisor

AE — Application Engineer or Account Executive

AM — Area Manager

APR — Apprentice

Assoc Dir — Associate Director

Asst — Assistant

ATTD — Attendant

AVP — Assistant Vice President

CAO — Chief Analytics Officer or Chief Administrative Officer

CDO — Chief Data Officer

CEO — Chief Executive Officer

CFO — Chief Financial Officer

CFP — Certified Financial Planner

CHANC — Chancellor

CHRO — Chief Human Resources Officer

CIO — Chief Information Officer

CLO — Chief Legal Officer

Cloud Ops Engr — Cloud Ops Engineer

CMO — Chief Marketing Officer

COO — Chief Operation Officer

COORD — Coordinator

CPA — Certified Public Accountant

CPO — Chief People Officer

CSO — Chief Security Officer

CSR — Customer Service Representative

CTO — Chief Technology Officer

DA — Data Analyst

DEVL — Developer

Dir — Director

DSGN — Designer or Design

EAM — Executive Account Manager

ELEC – Electrician

Eng — Engineer

Engr — Engineer

EVP — Executive Vice President

EXEC — Executive

Exec Asst — Executive Assistant

FAC — Faculty

GC — General Counsel

HRBP — Human Resources Business Partner

HRM — Human Resources Manager

INSP — Inspector

INSTR — Instructor

INT — Interim

Jr — Junior

LEC — Lecturer

LIBR — Librarian

MACH — Machinist

MECH – Mechanic

Mgr — Manager

Mkg — Marketing

Mkt — Marketing

Mktg — Marketing

Off — Officer

OPER — Operator

PA — Personal Assistant

PHYSN — Physician

PHYSIO — Physiologist

PM — Project Manager

Pres — President

PRIN — Principal

PRO — Public Relations Officer

Prof — Professor

Prog — Programmer

Rep — Representative

ROR Dev — Ruby on Rails Developer

SM Spec — Social Media Specialist

Spec — Specialist

Specl — Specialist

Sr — Senior

Sr. AE — Senior Application Engineer

Sr Mgr — Senior Manager

SUPR — Supervisor

Tech — Technician

Ter Mgr — Territory Manager

TRNE — Trainee

TRNR — Trainer

UI Eng — User Interface Engineer

UX Des — User Experience Designer

VA — Virtual Assistant

VC — Vice Chancellor

VP — Vice President

VP of TA — Vice President of Talent Acquisition

VP of TM — Vice President of Talent Management

A note on abbreviating C-level job titles. There are so many Chief-Something-or-Others these days that we are compiling a separate list in this C-Suite Job Titles List.

Funny Job Tile Acronyms

Some folks abbreviate job titles in a creative/funny way. We’ve also been keeping a list of these funny job title acronyms in 100+ Creative & Funny Job Titles [by Department & Position]. Here are a few:

  • BD Ninja — Business Development Ninja
  • COO — “Chief of Other”Stuff No One Wants to Take Care Of
  • COO — Chief Obedience Officer
  • C3PO — Chief Power Plugs & Patches Officer
  • Ruby on Rails SCAP — Ruby on Rails Super Crazy Awesome Programmer
  • VP of ABC — Vice President of Always Be Closing

If you are abbreviating a job title to be funny, you’ll have to follow the abbreviation rules above unless the audience (e.g. your employees) knows what it stands for.

For more tips on writing job descriptions, check out How to Write a Job Description — Best Practices & Examples.

More Business Acronyms or Job Title Abbreviations?

This is a dynamic list, and nowhere near complete! Do you have business abbreviations or job title acronyms that we missed (perhaps ones specific to your industry?)? Email me at Heather@Ongig.com to help me add to the list.

Shout-Outs:

  1. 18 common phrases and acronyms recruiters use in the job search process and what they mean (by Mary Kearl)
  2. Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Deciphering the 123 Most Common Business Acronyms (by Kat Moon)
  3. Meaning Of Job Title Abbreviations | Business English Vocabulary (by Cristobal Gomez)
  4. Job Title Abbreviations (by All Acronyms)
  5. 50 of the Top Management Abbreviations and Acronyms (by Indeed)
  6. When is it appropriate to use abbreviations? (by American Psychological Association)
  7. An Abbreviations FAQ (by Chelsea Lee)

Why I Wrote This

Ongig’s mission is to eliminate boring and biased job descriptions. Flagging business acronyms or job title abbreviations helps make your JDs more readable and appealing. Our Text Analyzer flags abbreviations and acronyms for you, so you don’t have to search for them. Click on “request demo” to learn more.

by in Job Descriptions