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5 Most Common Turn-offs in Job Specs (INFOGRAPHIC)

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In a hugely entertaining and informative infographic by, they’ve outlined the results of a survey of 2030 job seekers to find out what irks them about job descriptions and ads by recruiters and HR departments. The most common culprits were the high instance of meaningless jargon and confusing job titles, which put jobseekers off applying.

At SocialTalent, we believe that job postings are the first point of contact between organizations and potential employees. As such, they need to represent the companies at their best for an employer’s brand image not to be compromised by poor job descriptions. That’s why job description creation training should be included in every recruitment training.

So to recruiters – the message is clear: poorly written job specs mean you’re missing out on great applicants!

Here’s the 5 most common turn-offs in Job Specs:

5: Cliche Job Descriptions
“Penetrate the market” with “blue sky thinking”, you’ll be a “self-starter” who’ll “need an idea with legs” to “hit the ground running” – what does it all mean? Cliche job descriptions are big turn-offs when applicants are reading your job ads, and are more likely to confuse than inspire potential applicants.

4: Bad Job Titles
Internal-speak of job titles, like being an “Impact” at Hollister (I have no idea what that means. Please if you know, tell me in the comments) to a “Global Filtering Analyst” are hardly what people are going to be searching for when they go job hunting. Two in five respondents said they regularly see job titles they don’t understand, and 64% said they would not apply for a job if they didn’t understand the title.

3: Confusing skills requirements
I’m not sure when “linkage” became a word but it sure is used a lot, according to Monster. As is “learnings” and “granulisation”, whatever that is when it’s at home If you feel you have these skills then you’re good to go. If you’re still scratching your head in confusion, then join the queue!

2: Spelling Errors
An excellent find by Monster: “Attention to dteail” was written in one spec! We joke about the number of “mangers” and “pubic relations” specialists out there on LinkedIn, but being serious, if you misspell your job title, what’s the likelihood of your job being found anywhere?

Spelling errors in job descriptions and titles are one of the most common causes of frustration among applicants and result in applicants dismissing your role. 23% of respondents complained about spelling mistakes in ads – and Monster gave some great examples:

“Someone capable of ruining an office”

“Secatorial job”

“Resauce Manager”

“Sioux Chef”

“Comtempary office”

“Leed Engineer”

“Purrchaysing Officer”

Obviously a second set of eyes, or at least SpellCheck, would have done nicely here.

1: Meaningless Jargon
Well the results were quite clear: 57% of respondents said jargon in job ads puts them off applying for a role, 3 in 5 said they found it annoying, 1 in 3 said it’s confusing and 14% said it’s intimidating.

And the top 5 industry jargon culprits?

5: IT (78%)
4: Banking, Finance & Insurance (79%)
3: Sales (80%)
2: Management Consulting (82%)
1: Marketing, PR and Media (85%)

In such a competitive job market and with many employers still reporting skills shortages, it is worrying that so many job seekers are put off applying due to poorly written job ads, says David Henry, Marketing Director at We regularly see job ads flooded with jargon, with businesses looking for candidates who can hit the ground running,’ before penetrating the market’ with top line ideas’. Our findings suggest that corporate waffle, jargon and acronyms could be seriously affecting employers’ chances of finding the right candidates. Furthermore, advertising a role unclearly or incorrectly means many recruiters could be wasting time sifting through unsuitable CVs.

However, the most worrying finding is the extent of spelling and grammatical errors reported by job seekers, with one in four reporting this as their biggest bugbear. A job ad must make a good first impression and poor attention to detail could not only put off talented applicants but also cause permanent damage to employer brand.

So, the top tips for recruiters writing job specs?
1: Minimise jargon
2: Keep job titles clear
3: Make the application process clear
4: Proof read everything!
5: Give a description of the type of person you’re looking for.

Go on, name and shame! What job specs have you seen rife with silly jargon and/or misspellings? Here’s the full infographic:


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