How NOT to write a job description-obnoxious employer job listings

obnoxious employer

The obnoxious employer

Job descriptions that make you cringe

To attract top talent means carefully crafting a job description that maps out as closely as possible to the type of employee desired. Type in “how to write a job description” in Google and you’ll get more than a million search results telling you just what to do.

If you don’t want to search for your answer, try watching  linkfarm eHow’s perfunctory video presentation on the very same topic:

But what the vast majority of these job description posts are missing is exactly what’s prompting me to blog today.  Yes, I’m griping and I’m asking my readers to read this gripe with just a pinch of sympathy. I can visit a job board and find some of the most obnoxious job descriptions I’ve ever come across. Why is it that employers feel they can advertise a position using the descriptors that they do escapes me. Let’s dive in to a few examples.

Case study #1

I won’t malign the agency itself that listed this job (hence I won’t name it) but I came across this posting for a “manager editor of content” position. The advertisement starts off with the fairly standard “primary activities and responsibilities, ” then moves on to qualifications, and then here’s the kicker, it includes a description that reads:

Things We Are Not Looking For:

Fun haters

Idea Crushers/Creativity Killers


People who say “Good enough”

Tech Haters



What is your reaction to inclusion of such editorial in a job description?  Does this make you want to send off your resume and boldly claim that yes, I’m not a fun hater; I’m not a naysayer, I’m not a blamer; I’m not someone who says “good enough;” I’m not someone who accepts “mediocrity;” I’m not someone who is an “idea crusher/creative killer.” NOT.

I read this post and I wanted to puke. I could be wrong. Maybe this agency has a sense of humor that I’m just not getting. After all, we are not automatons, yes? We are human. We have feelings and emotions that stir within us every day. Maybe I should be jumping up and down with enthusiasm at finding a job that feels exactly the way I do. Yes, I hate blamers and naysayers and tech haters. I’m intolerant to mediocrity and fun haters. I’ve found the perfect position for me. Yup, this is the one. NOT.

Case study #2

This full-service digital agency is badly in need of a contract copywriter. Just how bad?

Let’s review the job description bullet points:

We need you to:

–       be very creative. to the point of being a little weird.

–        be really thorough. any materials sent with typos or grammar errors will be printed out

         and laughed at in the office.

–        question everything

–        write copy. surprised?

–        Be fun

–        be S-M-R-T

Now let me be the first to say I have not worked at an advertising agency. I am aware of just how stressful and hellish the environment is. A sense of humor can go a long way in establishing just how well you will do in this particular work setting. Perhaps all ad agency worker bees would find this job description funny because all ad pros share this type of mentality. Still, I can’t help but be annoyed by this type of job posting.

There you have it. Just two case studies. I come across these types of job descriptions fairly regularly.  I guess these types of descriptions work because the employer finds their lucky new hire in this fashion.

Have you come across what you believe to be obnoxious job descriptions?  Please share.

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