Employment vocabulary

Here are some common English words you can use when talking about employment. We list the wordpart of speechdefinition, and an example sentence.

employment (noun): The state of having a paid job. –  I moved to the city in search of employment.

application (noun): A form or letter stating one’s qualifications and experience that one sends to a company when requesting employment. – I sent off an application to the company last week.

bonus (noun): Extra money which one receives for good performance in addition to their salary. – Terry’s bonus last year was double his monthly salary.

boss (noun): A person in control of a company or office. – If I’m late for work again, my boss won’t be happy.

career (noun): A profession which requires training that one pursues for most of their working life. – Larry had a long and successful acting career.

colleagues (noun): The people with whom a person works or shares a workplace. – My colleagues and I usually have lunch at our desks.

commute (noun): The journey between one’s home and work. – The only downside to the job is the long commute.

commute (verb): Travel between one’s home and work. – I commute to work each day on the fast train.

curriculum vitae / CV (noun): A written account of one’s qualifications, experience, and education that is sent to a potential employer when applying for a job. – When I applied for the position, I attached a copy of my CV.

employ (verb): Give someone work and pay them for it. – Tim has been employed by the same company since 2011.

employee (noun): A person who receives money from a person or company for working. – All employees are expected to attend the meeting.

employer (noun): An organisation or person that gives people work. – Mike is a very fair employer.

fire (verb): Dismiss an employee from a job. – Luke was fired from his job after being caught stealing from the cash register.

full-time job (noun): A job in which one works the standard number of working hours. –  Sam has a full-time job, so he doesn’t have much free time during the week.

hire (verb): Give someone work. – Before we hire anyone, we need to make sure they’re qualified for the job.

interview (noun): A meeting in which a candidate who is applying for a job is questioned. – During his interview, John was asked about his previous jobs.

make (someone) redundant (verb): Dismiss someone because their job is no longer needed. – Bill was made redundant because sales were down.

maternity leave (noun): Absence from work after having a baby. – Dora had a baby two months ago, so she’s still on maternity leave.

notice (noun): Advance warning of one’s intention to leave their job. – Fred gave one month’s notice after deciding to leave his job.

overtime (noun): Work that exceeds the number of working hours stated on one’s contract. – Things are busy at work, so I’ve been doing a lot of overtime.

part-time job (noun): A job in which one works fewer than the standard number of hours. – When I was a student, I had a part-time job in a restaurant.

pay rise (noun): An increase in salary. – Mike was thrilled when he was given a pay-rise.

pay slip (noun): A piece of paper given to employees upon payment indicating the amount they earned,including any deductions made for tax, national insurance, etc. – My pay slip was in the envelope with my money.

personnel (noun): People who work for a company or organisation. – All the personnel in the factory were told they must attend the meeting.

promotion (noun): Advancement to new, more challenging position in a company. – After working for the bank for two years, I was given a promotion.

recruit (verb): Search for or employ new staff. – We are recruiting staff for our new store.

redundancy pay (noun): Money received by workers who have been asked to leave a position because their job is no longer needed. – While searching for a new job, Louis had to live on his redundancy pay.

resign (verb): Quit a job. – After deciding to move to Spain, I resigned from my job.

retire (verb): Stop working due to old age. – Tim retired last year, just after his 65th birthday.

sack (verb): Dismiss an employee from a job. – When we found out that Harry had been stealing from the cash register, we sacked him immediately.

salary (noun): A fixed amount of money received from an employer at regular intervals. – Tony earns a good salary in his new job.

shift (noun): A scheduled period of time during which one is scheduled to work. – I was tired after working a twelve-hour shift.

shift work (noun): Work which requires employees to work at different scheduled times. – Doing shift work can be hard, especially when one works a lot of night shifts.

sick leave (noun): Absence from work due to illness. – George is on sick leave because he’s got an awful cold.

take on (verb): Employ somebody to fill a position. – We are taking on new staff for our restaurant.

unemployed (adjective): Without a job. – Nick’s been unemployed since he lost his job last year.

union (noun): An organisation that supports the rights of workers. – The union helped the teachers to fight for a pay rise.

vacancy (noun): A position for a job that needs to be filled. – I hear the shop’s got a vacancy, so I might apply for the job.