Job Description Buzzwords: A Zero-B.S. Translation Guide

Updated on January 4, 2018
ChristinS profile image

Sarcasm, straight shooting, satire and snark - Christin tackles all with her sharp little bark!

So, you're looking for a job and like everyone else you're overloaded with tons of spam from job boards, scams, numerous ambiguous listings, and oh my God, the mumbo-jumbo corporate speak jargon that has your urge to kill rising.

You may be asking yourself why companies looking to hire don't simply state basic facts about the job?

First of all, that would be too easy. Besides, most employers understand very well that if they told the unvarnished truth, they'd struggle to ever interview top candidates.

If job description buzzwords are getting you down, use this handy guide to help you better understand what your future overlords really mean by "fast-paced work environment" and other such clichés.


Alphabetical Job Descriptions with BS-Free Translations

Please note this list has been alphabetized for quick reference! You're welcome!

Ability to Identify and Solve Problems: We are a hot mess, in utter chaos, and have no idea how the day-to-day operations work in our company, but plan to blame you when things go wrong.

Attention to Detail: You will take the blame for all management failings.

Competitive Pay: We'll find out who pays the least for this job already, offer you even less, and say it's comparable.

Deadline-Driven: We are slave drivers with no mercy and you will have your work done on time, every time, or else.

Enjoys Multitasking: We use the 'lean system' where we strive to pay as few people as possible to do humanly impossible amounts of work each day.

Fast-paced: We strive to do too much with too little daily and expect you to keep up.

Flexible: No work-life balance here!

Flexible Work Hours: We expect you to be flexible with the times you'll be called in, we reject most of your requests for time off, and we give the new guy the worst shifts we have. You'll like it or you can leave.

Good Communication Skills: You are talented at parroting what we tell you to think and say without too much free thought involved.

Ground-Floor Opportunity: Our business model is in the basement, and that's pretty much where you are going to stay.

Growth Opportunities: Sycophants wanted, or you're dead in the water no matter how hard you work.

Highly Motivated: You're eager to jump through hoops of fire for our bottom line and we're going to work you to death while filling you with false hopes for your future. Hope you like that hamster wheel to nowhere.

Lots of Perks: We'll toss around token gestures like giving you minuscule discounts or staff lunches once in a blue moon in exchange for your working super long hours for not enough pay and sub-par benefits.

Proactive: We are never available to help you when you have a question.

Rapid Advancement: We have too many chiefs and not enough Indians. We hand out meaningless titles with minimal to no pay increases to stroke your ego while we demand more responsibility out of you.

Resilient: Some people like to be abused, you're one of them right?

Rock Star: This company is run by clueless morons who want to sound edgy and cool but have no real life or business experience. That's ok, we hope you do so that you can do all the hard work while we sit back and take credit for how "innovative" we are.

Self Starter: Figure it out on your own and don’t ask a manager because they don’t know either.

Solution-Oriented: Management leaves a mess wherever it treads and we expect you to clean it up without argument or complaint.

Strong Leadership Skills: We expect you to take on a lot of responsibility, but don't plan on giving you management level pay.

Strong Work Ethic: Please don't leave within a few months like the last twelve people did, because this job sucks.

Team Player: There are a lot of a-holes working here, mostly in management, and we expect you to put up with all their crap with a smile on your face. And s*** rolls downhill—catch!!

Wear Many Hats: One of them will probably be learning to write our future job descriptions for us using less dated cliches while simultaneously taking sales calls, doing our accounting, and cleaning the restroom.

Works Well Independently: We want you to take on everything under the sun, and we will blame you if anything goes wrong and take credit for your efforts when things go right.

Works Well Under Pressure: We're going to micromanage your ass off.

Written and Verbal Communication Skills: We want to make sure you're more than semi-literate and can write full, complete sentences and not just tweet. This one I can actually respect!


Which of the following job listing cliches give you the strongest urge to beat your face into your desk?

See results

Can you think of any I've forgotten? Agree or disagree with the darker truths of these terms? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below! And, one more time in case you missed the first warning - this is a satire piece, written totally tongue-in-cheek (sort of).

© 2017 Christin Sander


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    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 6 weeks ago from Midwest

      Thanks Stacie - glad you enjoyed it :)

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 6 weeks ago

      High energy, enthusiastic, self starter= we'll run you into the ground and not give you any help.

      This hub is so true and I enjoyed it very much!

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 7 weeks ago from Midwest

      Thanks Vince. I always found that to be a bit passive aggressive myself. Glad you enjoyed the article :)

    • H. P. Loveboat profile image

      Vince 7 weeks ago from New York CIty

      "Strong Work Ethic = 'Please don't leave within a few months like the last twelve people did because this job sucks.'"

      This one always comes off as particularly petty to me. Like they are sitting around annoyed they lost another employee and just can't help but slip this jab in there.

      Good article.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 7 weeks ago from Midwest

      Thanks MizBejabbers, this seems to be universal no matter where we work anymore eh? :) glad you enjoyed the piece.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 7 weeks ago

      Reading this just made my morning, Christin. This is a perfect description of state government as well as the corporate world. I have 29 years experience understanding this piece.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 7 weeks ago from Midwest

      Thanks Flourish :) Glad you found it funny. The job hunt for my hubby lately has been a bit um, shall we say, eventful lol and a lot of this comes from things we've learned from his current search and former employers - and mine too! I've worked a few "fast paced" jobs in the past lol.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 weeks ago from USA

      Fast paced is a total give away. If you see that, run. I loved this humorous piece.