• Cheek

Translating corporate job ad wank

Whether you’re a uni grad ready to make your first move into the ~career of your dreams~, or you’re on the hunt for something new, you’ll be sifting through a lot of Seek, Indeed, and LinkedIn job advertisements. It’s hard to find out what the position is really like, and almost impossible to uncover anything about the company culture from a job ad, but I hope this list of translations will help you navigate this tricky system with a keener eye.

Exciting!! Opportunity!!

‘Birthday leave’ listed as a perk: Basically anyone can take annual leave for their birthday. If they are trying to sell you with b’day leave, they don’t have much else to offer.


CBD location on the top of the ad: They think they can reel you in with a building over 3 storeys? Think again.


Extraordinaire: If they use this word, they are probably looking for one person to do all the crappy tasks everyone else won’t do for minimum wage.


Eye for detail: The hiring manager is a perfectionist.


Fast-paced environment: Can mean two things, either 1. You will be overworked and stressed to the gills, or 2. Your team and the company are really bad at time management and organisation, meaning they (and probably you) will spend a few weekends and late nights together.


Fun: Any reference to a fun culture or a fun team usually means lots of chit chat and banter in the office. This culture fits some people, but it often means you get minimal work done during the day and have to work late or will always be behind. Proceed with caution.


Free on-site parking listed at the top of the ad: If this is their biggest draw card... avoid!


Genuine: Any person or company who has to describe themselves as genuine is absolutely not genuine.


Hit the ground running: You won’t be chosen if you have to give two or more weeks notice at your current. They are after the fastest turnaround, not the best candidate.


Immediate start: I smell desperation.


No day will look the same: The office and therefore your job will be a mess.


Office reference: Any ad that describes their ‘beautiful, modern, renovates, waterfront, marble-floored office’ is probably putting literally all their cards on the table with one sentence. A beautiful office doesn’t mean shit when your boss sucks and your work is unfulfilling. But it will make you look #bossbabe on the gram, so up to you… If they reference The Office as in the TV show, things could go either way. If they make sure you know they are referencing the UK version, scroll on past. If it is a cleverly integrated nod to World’s Best Boss Steve Carell, that could be a different story.


Opportunity: I have lots of feelings about this word and most of them are negative. Describing a job as an excellent or rare opportunity sounds more like a sales pitch than a call for the right candidate… Don’t ya think?


Option to extend for the right candidate (in short term role): This one is specifically referring to a short contract role, around three months, and most likely means they just need a gap filler for a few months and have absolutely no intention of extending. While doing research for this article, I found one ad promoting an 'exciting opportunity' for a one month contract. One. month.


Perks!: Perks like salary sacrificing or paying for your transportation are excellent perks, but the companies who call them ‘perks!’ usually mean you might get ‘free breakfast,’ ie. instant coffee and a dried up piece of toast with homebrand jam once a month. Don’t be fooled.


Rare: I mean… Come off it, you know this job is the same as the other 6 pages of roles in your Seek search. Who do they take you for!?


Small, dynamic team: You will be doing your job and also 2.5 other jobs. Your week will include at least 6 hours of admin that doesn’t relate to the position.


Strategic and hands on: You have to plan everything and also do everything and you’ll be managing yourself with no support.


Superstar: Just… No. While I was researching for this article, I came across a position labelled ‘Marketing Superstar.’ A bit too quirky for me, and raises major red flags about the company culture. If they use cutesy language in the ad, it’s probably covering for something.


Tight-knit team: Everyone else has been there for 15 years and you will be the new addition… This could be good if they’re excited by shiny things, but it probably means you will get spoken down to until the next new addition drags their sorry ass in.


Varied role: They basically looked around the office and popped all the shitty leftover jobs that nobody wanted to do into a list and posted it to Seek. Monday: shredding paper and creating PowerPoint presentations out of a list of crappy notes. Tuesday: resetting all the social media passwords and getting coffee for the annoying board chair, only for him to leave it undrunk when he leaves. Wednesday: calling clients to make sure they aren’t mad. Thursday: calling the clients who were mad to smooth things over and sweeping leaves out of the hallway so people don’t walk them into the office. Friday: 30 minutes on reception, taking notes in two super dull meetings, sending out and chasing up invoices, calling to make a reservation at the local bar for after work drinks, making up an excuse to avoid after work drinks.


Written in a cute/funny/causal way: This is just one gal’s opinion, but RUN FOR THE HILLS. This company thinks that caring about its employees is installing a ping pong table and putting Twinings cold infusion tea bags in the water cooler.