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Job Descriptions

An Exhaustive List of Jargon, Cliches and Buzzwords to Avoid in Your Job Listings

January 6th, 2017

Take a look at any employment site, and you’ll see job descriptions packed with jargon—words and phrases that are used so much, they’ve become meaningless. This lazy language makes job seekers’ eyes glaze over, but it can be tough for hiring managers and recruiters to stop using it. It’s a shorthand that’s hard to abandon, especially when you’re crunched for time to get your job listings posted.

Never fear! Here are 40 boring buzzwords, along with alternatives that will excite potential new hires. When your phrasing stands out from the crowd, job seekers will pay attention… and apply!

COMMONLY USED JOB LISTING CLICHES

Instead of this cliche → try using this instead

  • Additional duties, tasks and responsibilities as needed/as assigned → Jumps in on extra projects
  • BA required → Degree preferred
  • Balance/juggle/handle multiple projects → Seamlessly shifts gears
  • Collaborative → Cooperative
  • Communication skills/Strong communicator → Candid, vocal, open, honest
  • Competitive salary → List actual salary range
  • Conceptualize → Dream up
  • Creative/Innovative → Original
  • Deadline-driven → On time, all the time
  • Detail-oriented/attention to detail → Conscientious
  • Digitally fluent/digital native → Tech savvy
  • Dynamic → Flexible
  • Entrepreneurial → Pioneering
  • Evangelist → Enthusiast
  • Execute/Implement → Make it happen

  • Fast-paced → Busy
  • Flexible hours → Be specific about what this means for your workplace
  • Go-getter → Takes initiative
  • Guru → Visionary
  • He/She → You
  • Include salary requirements → List actual salary range
  • Interpersonal skills → Plays well with others
  • Jedi → Gifted
  • Multi-tasker → Adaptable
  • Ninja → Skilled
  • Optimize → Improve
  • Organizational skills → Methodical, efficient
  • Passionate → Deeply committed
  • Positive attitude → Unflappable
  • Proven ability/proven track record → Experience

  • Results-oriented → Follows through
  • Rock star → Top of your game
  • Salary commensurate with experience → List actual salary range
  • Self-starter/self-motivated → Ambitious, driven
  • Standard Equal Employment Opportunity language → Rewrite in your own words to explain why EEO is important to your company
  • Synergize → Cooperate

  • Team player → Relationship builder
  • Wizard → Expert
  • Works well independently and with a team → Succeeds in solo or group projects
  • Written and verbal communication skills → Write and speak with ease

To see if your job listings are guilty of jargon, use your web browser or Microsoft Word “find” function. Plug in the buzzwords above and see if they pop up in your job descriptions. If they do, simply replace with the suggested words or phrases above… or, even better, write something in your own words. The more natural your job posting reads, the more likely it is that candidates will respond.

When you’re cliche-free, click here to get your job listing in front of thousands of incredible, qualified candidates.

Good luck!