Avoid Job Posting Clichés


Avoid Job Posting Clichés

Intelligent Conversations is not a salesperson recruiting company.  We teach companies a different way to recruit stronger salespeople.

I've rewritten thousands of job ads in my career. Despite my best efforts, there still seems to be a plethora of cruddy ads out there. I'm forming an army of converts to go out and evangelize my job ad writing tips.

Here is the first shot fired from our job ad writing cannon:

Avoid cliché words and phrases!

  • "outstanding growth potential"
  • "highly motivated"
  • "competitive salary"
  • "complete benefit package"
  • "fast paced"
  • "be your own boss"

Words like these don't tell the job seeker anything! Get rid of them.


EVERYONE has good pay and benefits, however one job seeker's idea of good pay and benefits may not be another person’s idea of good pay and benefits.

We talk with job seekers who are applying to clients all the time.  They say that these words tell them nothing about a particular job.  These words started being used to save money in newspaper ads, where you pay by the word. The perception among advertisers was that job seekers would know what was meant by these words.

When it was only the newspaper that provided job ads, job seekers just had to accept it.  That changed with online job ads.  Online job seekers are used to seeing longer, more detailed ads.  They are used to scrolling down the screen to see more information about a job.

When job seekers see a well written and informative ad placed by a company, it indicates the company has a certain level of care for its employees.

Job seekers would much rather know that they are:

  • expected to be at a job from 7am to 7pm,
  • call on presidents and CEO's,
  • and sell $200,000 packages in a market with five competitors.

The above lines actually tell the job seeker something about the job rather than generic words like "fast paced environment."

What does "complete benefit package" include? Dental or vision?

In addition to traditional benefits like health care, does the benefit package include non-traditional benefits like concierge service for dry cleaning, or a monthly employee massage, maybe an employee lunch cooked by the president? Does "outstanding growth potential" mean growth in earnings or in management? If a job seeker does X, does that mean they will be promoted to Y in a certain amount of time?

Stop being generic and start being specific and you will see a change in the type of candidates that apply to your ads!

(We are grateful to Everet Kamikawa for the contributions and insights he provided for this post).