How to Translate Popular Job Descriptions
J.T. O'Donnell | CAREEREALISM
BEWARE: Job seekers aren’t the only ones who sometimes get creative when it comes to selling themselves (i.e. resumes and cover letters that have been, shall we say, “tweaked” to make a person look like the ideal candidate). Some employers have a tendency to use verbiage that makes their open positions sound better than they really are.
Over the years, I’ve noticed some popular job descriptors that should be viewed as warning flags a potential employer might be trying to put an overly optimistic spin on a less-than-stellar work situation. Thus, when reading the want-ads, consider the following translations:
Motivated team-player – looking for someone who needs a job badly enough that they’ll put up with lots of unmotivated, annoying people from whom you’ll have to get buy-in on almost everything you do.
High achiever, driven to succeed – must be a complete brown-nose whose sole mission in life is to please and impress management.
Customer-focused – can take a lot of abuse from clients AND management and still act pleasant.
Resourceful, independent self-starter – since we have absolutely no time or resources to train you, we expect you to figure everything out for yourself…quickly.
Attentive to details – we have strict policies and procedures and won’t hesitate to blame you for everything if you make a mistake.
Flexible, enjoys multi-tasking – we are unorganized and change corporate directions daily, so you’ll need to be able to clean up our messes and do jobs that A) you weren’t told about in the interview, and B) aren’t trained to do properly – all on a moment’s notice.