Ever wondered what the clever phrases in those job ads actually mean?

Conduct an online job search these days and you’re soon confronted with lots of ads, many suggesting, without actually saying it of course, that each day spent working with them will be just like dying and going to heaven, only better. But should they be taken at face value?  Is your workplace heaven? Or is it more like hell, despite what that ever so enticing advertisement that lured you there in the first place suggested? Here I take a lighthearted look at what job ads say and what they might actually mean, and present for your entertainment, my top 40:

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 1 "It's a stressful role" – the last person that did this job now spends their days shouting "Oi oi saveloy!" and barking at cars

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 2 “we’re a close-knit team” – we have to be, there’s hardly room to swing a cat in here!

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 3 “you're innovative” – you bring your own mug in to the office just in case anyone else has got ‘the lurgy’

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 4 “it’s a stimulating environment" – the drinks machine coffee is really, really strong

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 5 ”You're self-aware" – Hooray! You know who you are. That’s always a bonus!

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 6 “you're a tough negotiator” – you shout, stare daggers and slam your phone down a lot until you get your own way

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 7 "it's a lively environment" – get used to having those important telephone conversations interrupted by the intermittent whooping and cheering of the sales team celebrating another success.

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 8 "you're a strategist" – you spend your time chin stroking & 'thinking' whilst others do the actual work

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 9 "We're a friendly team" - until you cross us or screw up, that is

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 10 "you're fiercely competitive" – we've got 400 staff....but only 15 parking spaces!

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No.11 "it's a vital role" – Let's face it, that photocopying and filing isn't going to do itself!

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 12 "you manage your time well" – you surf the web all day, but minimise the browser whenever someone comes near your desk

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 13 "you're an innovative, dynamic & highly motivated team player" - you're a big fat cliché

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 14 "this is a brand new role" – (as you can probably tell from the very flaky and vague job description)

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 15 "you're sensitive to the needs of others" – bring cakes in on your birthday, or else!

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 16 "We’re an innovative company" - we've been using soft toilet paper in our rest rooms since 1973!

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 17 “An ideal environment in which to grow” - ….tomatoes! The air conditioning is screwed, so the office is generally hotter than the sun’s core

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 18 “you have good time management skills” - you're one of those extremely annoying people that gets up at five in the morning, even on your days off, just so you can 'make the most of the day'

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 19 “you’re highly persuasive, and a good team builder” – you frequently drag people away from their desk to give them some crap motivational talk in the boardroom. You shout things at them like ‘there’s no ‘I’ in the word ‘team’ “ whilst they cry a lot

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 20 "you're diplomatic and discreet" – you bad mouth your colleagues, but never to their faces.

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 21 "you have what it takes to connect with staff right across the organisation" - you'll be working on reception a lot

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 22 "you touch lives every day" – you're a latter day Mother Teresa ( but please, no flip flops)

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 23 “you have previous experience” – what else can experience be?

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 24 “working on a rota basis” – kiss your social life goodbye  for the foreseeable future

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 25 “you have well-rounded people skills” – you get on well with the clinically obese

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 26 "ours is a target-driven environment" – we’d all sell our grandmothers for £1 if push came to shove.

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 27 "You'll get regular reviews" – No salary increases, just regular reviews, biscuits and lame excuses

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 28 "You'll be a key player" – you'll unlock the office in the morning & lock it up again at night long after we’ve all gone home.

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 29 "You’ll develop key strategies" - for example: how on earth do I escape this absolute hellhole for lunch?

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 30 "we're taking communications to a whole new level" - we're moving your team up to the 7th floor!

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 31 “...a great opportunity to hone your communication skills” – particularly as we’ll be popping out to the local bar for a couple of hours every lunchtime to drown our sorrows, thus leaving you on your own to answer the phones.

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 32 "It’s an environment where you’ll be encouraged to make your mark" – we advise employees to put labels on the food they bring in to the office so that no one steals it.

Job ads. What they say/what they mean No. 33 ”This is an exciting opportunity” – Oh come on, admit it. When was the last time you were genuinely "excited" whilst you were in an office, eh? And I’m not talking about that time at the Christmas party when you got drunk on cheap wine and thought it would be a laugh to photocopy your genitals. Yes, you’ll be vaguely excited for the first couple of days, maybe even a week - we all were. But the novelty will soon wear off and you’ll quickly become sad, bitter and resentful like the rest of us.

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 34 "you're driven" - but sadly only to the station in the morning by your downtrodden partner

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 35 “…no two days will be the same” – it really is absolute chaos here

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 36 "you're results-driven" - if your football team loses you’re almost suicidal and totally unapproachable for days

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 37 "you pick up the phone and make things happen" – mostly when we need more Tippex, staples or toilet roll in the rest rooms

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 38 "you're friendly, willing and enthusiastic" – you're a corporate lapdog

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 39 "our modern offices are situated in a prestigious location" - Yes, the offices are really lovely… if you can find them! We’re in the middle of some God forsaken, soulless industrial wilderness, just off the ninth roundabout that looks exactly like the other eight you’ll drive past on your way to the interview, as you get hopelessly lost and arrive late, totally stressed out and in a foul mood.

Job ads, what they say/what they mean No. 40 "you're robust" – You never cry. It all stems back to that childhood spent mostly in cupboards.

 

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