Nov 28 2018

3 Types of Words to Drop From Your Job Descriptions

Signature Consultants General

Great job descriptions are incredibly hard to write. You need to filter out the people without the skill set or experience to do the job—but not set the bar so high that qualified candidates don’t apply. You must make your company sound appealing and the role seem like a great opportunity, without giving potential hires unrealistic expectations. You need to describe the job’s main responsibilities and deliverables all while staying within a few paragraphs.

To make matters more complicated, the person writing the job description often isn’t a seasoned recruiter, talent acquisition specialist, or copywriter. It’s usually the hiring manager or the human resources manager who may or may not have any experience drafting what’s essentially an advertisement, company brief, and “help wanted” announcement all in one.

Because we want to make it easier for everyone to write a great job description, let’s start with the basics: a list of phrases not to use. These terms might sound innocuous to most, but they can have negative connotations. Getting rid of them will instantly improve your job descriptions and set you apart from the other employers still using them.

1. Passionate
You’ll see this adjective pop up in job postings for every type of position and industry. “Looking for an X who’s passionate about Y…” “Must be passionate about helping A company deliver on B mission…” “We love passionate, enthusiastic team members who want to do C…”

What’s the problem? Passion is awesome, right?

Yes—but it’s not essential to doing the job. All sorts of people excel while feeling, well, pretty normal about their work! They don’t hate it, they don’t love it, but they work hard, and they’re great employees. Maybe they like their day job, but they’re incredibly passionate about a hobby or weekend activity.

The point is, expecting all your employees to be passionate is not only unrealistic, it will scare away otherwise talented, competent applicants.

2. Hacker, guru, ninja, etc.
For a few years, it’s been trendy to make your job sound cooler by slapping “hacker,” “guru,” “ninja,” “wizard,” etc. on the end. Instead of hiring a “Marketing Manager,” companies wanted a “Marketing Rockstar.”

These job titles sound, frankly, absurd. You’re looking for a professional, not a practitioner of magic or martial arts. And, they might also dissuade women from applying.

According to Angie Chang, Vice President of female engineering fellowship Hackbright Academy, “hacker” is harder for women to identify with. Many companies that work with Hackbright end up rewriting their job descriptions to make them more inclusive.

Plus, it’ll be easier for your employees to describe what they do without using “superhero” or another non-standard term.

3. “Multi-faceted,” “results-oriented,” “self-starter,” etc.
Finally, there are the phrases everyone uses in job descriptions. Sure, it might be easy to whip up a job posting using cliches, but these won’t appeal to candidates looking for a unique place to work.

Plus, most people would describe themselves as “self-starters” or “results-driven.” Try to use more specific language as it’ll help you attract the best fits for the role.

About Signature Consultants, LLC

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the eighth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 27 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit www.sigconsult.com.

Signature Consultants General