re: How To Write Better Job Descriptions VIEW POST


These days I often decide to apply for a job (or not) based on backchannel references or what I can find about the managers or founders of the company, and not so much because of the job posting itself (because most job postings still really suck, sadly).

Some definite red flags for me in a job posting are:

  • language that implies that they expect you to work overtime; a common one in startups is "we work hard, play hard", which I think is code for "all we do is be at the office and then get drunk together")
  • language that implies a hyper-competitive environment; some examples here are sentences like "you will be our production hero" or a job posting I saw some years ago, where they used "atlas" (as in the Titan that holds up the heavens), and had some lines like "you will be our infrastructure atlas"
  • language that feels overly aggressive -- anything about "crushing" the competition and the like

For me, those things signal an environment that is probably not a good fit for me.

What about you, John, do you have any pet peeves or definite no-nos?


I think those are great examples. It's hard because as you say it's easy to out whatever you want in a job post. I would say its pretty easy to say things like unlimited vacation in a job post, but if everyone is never going to take time off for a recharge what's the point. So I would I think when a post just kind of has the talking points with nothing to back it up that is a red flag and its harder to spot. But some people really like working at those higher places, so it's not that big of a deal I just wish it was more open. Its probably super hard to write good job posts, something I have never done.

Words are hard, in job posts and otherwise. 😉

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