When you are using a Selective Level Meter your are making measurements in a physical circuit, right?, then all the time you are measuring dBm, as the previous answers dB is a relative measure used frequently because you can’t have power directly from that measurements and is more easy to get dB, but in circuits you have power in all parts, then for example to obtain dBs you only need to set a reference.

For example you measure the input to an specific circuit then you measure the output in both cases you get dBm but you need to say about the gain or loss of your circuit then you make the simple math:

dB= dBm at output – dBm at input

From that specific equation if you have a positive dB then you surely have an amplifier and if you have negative dB you have a loss like a network of resistors, if you do the subtraction in opposite way then the signs and interpretations change. I hope this can help you, best regards,