Business abbreviations commonly used in English

Back to News

In the modern world of business, being efficient is vital – fast communication and getting your message across as quickly as possible has become the norm. A useful range of terms are abbreviations and acronyms; enabling you to quickly and efficiently get your message across, whether it is an in email or an instant message. But what do these abbreviations mean? Here are some examples and what they mean for you to use in your future emails and messages.

First up, we have some common abbreviations for job titles and what they actually stand for:

  • CEO – Chief Executive Officer
  • CFO – Chief Financial Officer
  • COO – Chief Operations Officer
  • PM – Project Manager
  • HRM – Human Resources Manager
  • PA – Personal Assistant

These job titles are commonly seen all over emails, messages, and social media platforms such as LinkedIn. So next time you see a connection from a CFO or wonder who this COO is that is reaching out to you, don’t be caught unaware of the position that person is in.

Here are some additional terms and abbreviations used in a sales and marketing environment:

  • SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
  • R&D – Research and Development
  • SMM – Social Media Marketing
  • PR – Public Relations
  • ROI – Return On Investment
  • CPC – Cost Per Click
  • CTR – Click Through Rate

These abbreviations can be seen often in emails and marketing messages such as “improve your ROI today”. Keep an eye out for those notorious emails from marketing teams talking about your business’s SEO, CTR, and PR.

Finally, here are some examples of general abbreviations that you may come across in a business environment:

  • SME – Small / Medium Business
  • HR – Human Resources
  • TOS – Terms Of Service
  • ASAP – As Soon As Possible
  • TBA – To Be Announced
  • FYI – For Your Information

A lot of these terms can be used in and out of the office and now that you’ve seen them, you will be able to notice them a lot more in your day-to-day life. For more information about learning English in the workplace and more of these sort of terminology, take a look at our blog for further advice.