Recruit Camp: 5 job advert phrases you NEED to avoid

Navigating job adverts can be a real chore, especially when you start to understand how transparent most of them are. You’ll begin to notice the same advert phrases and be able to cross-reference them enough to work out what they actually mean.

Unfortunately not every job is a winner but someone needs to do it. It’s in a company’s best interest to slap some ambiguity and trick some poor, unsuspecting graduate into accepting a job that don’t understand.

Here are five job advert phrases you should avoid and what they actually mean.

1. “Looking for rockstar [role title]”

Get out of here with that pandering, HR-friendly term of endearment. There has never been a ‘rockstar’ marketing assistant. The kind of people who think this this is an acceptable use of the word ‘rockstar’ probably didn’t realise that The Office was a mockumentary.


2. “Must be available any days/hours including weekends”

This might sound like you may have to work the occasional weekend but it really means: “We hope you don’t have any friends, family or responsibilities because this is your life now. We know the pay is low, but that’s okay, we’re not going to give you even close to enough free time to spend it!”.

3. “Fun environment”

Because everyone has this greyscale bull-pen idea of the standard office, companies throw in this lie to lull potential employees into thinking they’re working for a cutting-edge start-up. I suppose it’s ‘fun’ the same way LED induced migraines and sorting out printer jams is ‘fun’.

4. “Excellent opportunity to build your portfolio”

This basically means: “Slavery is illegal, we get that, trust us, we understand. But try and convince yourself that the two hour commute for unpaid work will set you up for a comfortable future as a semi-professional barista”.


5. “Values-based company”

This is my favourite one. Translated: “We’re a company founded on the higher-ups (probably) bigoted world-view. You’re allowed an opinion. That’s your right. If it conflicts with our’s, that’s fine. You’re wrong and we’ll make that clear but it’s fine…”