Oh the horror! Of the cliché job posting wording! Seriously, how many job postings have you read that DIDN’T begin with “We’re looking for a self-starter to join our team!”? Working for an outstanding site that offers a job board among our many talent solutions services, I tend to feel like just about every one begins that way. It always strikes me when a job posting uses ridiculous language and overused buzzwords to try to attract applicants when really, it’s doing the exact opposite. So grab a thesaurus or read on for new and improved ways to update your job posting wording:
Self-Starter: Let’s get this one out of the way first. I literally feel like I see this buzzword on every other posting I view and it’s getting to be annoying. Pretty sure everyone wants a self-starter, otherwise it would imply that they need a babysitter. And like multitasking, which we’ll get to in a minute, everyone is going to say, “Hey, I’m a self-starter. I should apply to this job!” This is because it’s not a skill or a trait, it’s just a fluffy word that doesn’t have much meaning. Flip the switch here: if you see “self-starter” on a resume, does it really get you fired up about a candidate?
Job Posting Wording to Use Instead: Independent, Outgoing, Gear-Shifter, Reliable, Motivated
Minimum Years’ Experience Required: Here’s the fast track to getting rid of great candidates! Okay, I get it: you have a General Manager position and you’d like to forewarn any college students from bothering to apply. But if it’s anything else, all this phrasing is doing is deterring otherwise qualified applicants from applying because they believe you’ve already ruled them out. Why put a measure on experience? Why not just say “experienced?” Or “advanced?” Give your applicants the opportunity to prove themselves without limiting them.
Job Posting Wording to Use Instead: Experienced, Advanced, Seasoned, Skilled, Proficient in…, Working knowledge, Qualified
Multitasker: My college graphic design professor once told our class straightforward that although we all like to brag that we’re multitaskers, we’re really only serial “unitaskers,” meaning we can really only focus on one precise task at any given moment. He said that if we were really multitaskers, we should be working at NASA. That’s always stuck with me, because it brings out the absurdity of the statement: what does multitasking really even mean? It’s just another fluffy word that all people like to throw around, because it sounds better than busy. But really, a lot of words sound better than multitasker. Check them out:
Job Posting Wording to Use Instead: Organized, Meticulous, Focused, Ambitious
Rockstar, Ninja, Jedi, Wizard, Superman, Insert Other Mythical Being Here: Are you recruiting an eight-year-old? No? Then you don’t need to seek attention from one. Using these words really throws the whole “minimum experience required” thing out the window. You are working with, what should be (and more than likely are if they are using AgCareers.com), mature adults who don’t need to be patronized by being told that they are a “guru.” Instead, flatter them with intelligent language like the following:
Job Posting Wording to Use Instead: Pioneering, Visionary, Talented, Innovator, Enthusiast
Put yourself to the test: see if you can post a job without using these phrases on AgCareers.com.