Job ad jargon

Avoid the fixer-upper position.  And here I'm always looking for a detail-oriented, self-starting team player.  Silly me.  From Time's Moneyland.

Decoding Job Ads: Why to Avoid a ‘Fast-Paced Work Environment’
Another expert, Kevin Fleming, who owns a career- and life-coaching company, issues warnings about seemingly harmless terms such as team player (“code phrase for someone who will allow us to do whatever we want to you”), detail-oriented (“watch out for control freaks”), and self-starter (“code phrase for, ‘Can you make ambivalence and lack of direction work?’”).

Why do the folks who write job ads insist on rolling out these phrases time after time? In the same way that realtors want to paint the property for sale in the most flattering language, hiring managers hope to describe job openings in ways that will attract the best candidates possible. Certainly, they do not want to scare off potential candidates by being completely upfront and honest about the fact that, say, you’re going to work 70 hours a week and only get paid for 40, or that the boss is so passive-aggressive he’ll put your mother-in-law to shame.


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