Hidden meanings are dreadful. You feel dim for not spotting it and annoyed it was hidden in the first place, then dim again when someone tells you how obvious it all was. Hidden meanings or euphemisms in Job Descriptions are unfortunately rife. As recruiters, we have seen and heard these thousands of times and recognise them for what they are, but to some candidates it’s still code. So we have dragged the most common offenders into the cleansing light of day:

Self Starter

We have no processes. We’ll give you a desk and a phone. You’re going to need to do a lot of the work and take initiative with often little support.

Ambitious/fun loving or talk about ‘Culture’ a lot

We only want young people.

Work hard/Play hard culture

You will be working from 7am- 7pm and be frowned upon if you don’t go out drinking until the early hours and attend every social.

Ambitious and Driven

Be money-hungry. Make us money and bring in clients. You don’t care who gets left in your wake.

Tenacious or works well under pressure

This is a tough place and you will struggle if you can’t manage pressure. Be prepared to have some Key Performance Indicators or other targets thrust in your face four times a day.

Good communication skills

Native English speakers only. You will need a good telephone manner without a strong accent. If you can use three swear words in one semi-coherent sentence you are in!

Outgoing and Sociable

A gossip.

Urgent need

Someone just left and we are hoping to hire before we fire the next trainee.

Flexible approach to work

You will be doing everything. You might end up leading a team, making tea, moving teams, and maybe using a broom every so often. Because you said you were ‘flexible’. But don’t think that excuses not hitting all targets.

Must be a team player

Must not question authority

Fast Paced Environment

We are spinning our lack of organisation as exciting, modern and cool. You are going to be run off your feet. Apart from Friday mornings where last nights Jagerbombs will definitely be slowing you down.

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