In the context of a job advertisement, what does "is a pre" mean?

Top and only useful result on Google was this, only guessing "pré-requis" (requirement), which makes it odd to include sporadically in a list of job requirements like this PDF section:

Job Qualification
• M.Sc. / BSc. in software engineering or equivalent.
• 7+ years of experience in Software design.
• (Must) Experience in writing Python.
• Experience in writing embedded C-code.
• Experience with Labview is a pre.
• Experience in FPGA design and prototyping is a pre.
• Knowledge of scripting languages.
• Good communication skills, team player, driver mentality, pro-active attitude.
• Networking skills, creative, motivating, curious, open minded.
• Able to identify and resolve complex issues.
• Fluent English speaker.

And especially this recruiter quote:

Skills must:
• Ruby

Skills pre:
• Ruby on Rails
• Java

  • It's either a typo of, or unnecessarily sloppy shorthand for preferred, as in "these skills aren't required, but they are good to have". I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's based on the misleading use of an improperly abbreviated term. "Pre-" has a meaning, but this isn't it.
    – Andrew
    Jun 17, 2019 at 20:43
  • @Andrew - In this context, I would assume "is a pre" is shorthand for "is a prerequisite".
    – J.R.
    Jun 17, 2019 at 21:10
  • @J.R. Sure, you would think that -- but again, it's not. The unqualified skills (computer degree, job experience, etc.) are the prerequisites. The ones marked with "pre" are the "nice to haves". I've received hundreds of these, and they're all similarly structured (although I have yet to read one that used this awful abbreviation). I have a bad feeling it's become "CS recruiter slang".
    – Andrew
    Jun 17, 2019 at 21:15

4 Answers 4


The "is a" portion used in the first example indicates that "pre" is a noun, and I am inclined to think you are correct that it is short for "prerequisite". Of course, the example also includes "(Must)" which should indicate the same thing, so there is a lack of internal consistency.

In the second example, however, the "pre" category is contrasted with "must". I would interpret this as short for "preferred", meaning skills which would reflect well on the applicant but are not required.


It is a poorly translated Dutch sentence. In Dutch 'pre' means not strictly required but good/nice to have or a plus. See this dictionary entry (in Dutch).


It probably means prerequisite, but I am not sure if it's a typo, because people would say it's an incorrect usage as it doesn't make sense to use a "word", if you can call it that, that's so ambiguous.


In general,

pre- is used to form words that indicate that something takes place before a particular date, period, or event. Def.

For the above, I believe you have stuck upon the correct usage.

  • Experience with Labview is a pre.


  • Experience with Labview is a required.
  • 2
    In this context it's shorthand specifically for "prerequisite."
    – TypeIA
    Jun 17, 2019 at 19:29
  • Actually, now that I think about it more, I think it could be a typo for "... is a plus." Meaning having Labview experience would be a bonus but is not required.
    – TypeIA
    Jun 17, 2019 at 19:31
  • @TypeIA Agreed on the shorthand, sorry if I didn't make that clear in my answer! (+1) Disagree on the typo, since it's repeated, making it unlikely :)
    – Gamora
    Jun 17, 2019 at 19:33
  • 1
    The recruiter quote convinces me it's either a typo (yes, repeated) or bad English. The recruiter refers to "pre" skills in contrast to "must" skills, so I'd stake my application on it meaning "plus."
    – TypeIA
    Jun 17, 2019 at 20:23
  • This is incorrect. Assuming it follows the typical pattern for these kind of requests, it's either shorthand for, or a typo of, preferred.
    – Andrew
    Jun 17, 2019 at 20:42

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