I started writing the scariest job postings blog as a joke the year I started Three Ears Media. Genuinely, it was funny to me that I could Google any word – purple, elephant, I mean any – and find bad job postings. There’s 2020’s Scariest Job Posting, 2021’s Top 5 Scary Job Posts, or my favorite – 2019’s 6 Scariest Job Postings I’ve Ever Read.
It has become such a tradition that year round, people send me all of these God awful posts with a lot of random words – and some that are a little too common. You know the ones I banned – collaboration, team player, buzz, buzz. Words that mean a lot with context but mean nothing the way they’re used in most job postings. The more, the scarier.
But this year, as I watch the headlines about layoffs looming, sharp declines in open jobs, and uncertainty in the market, I think all of this is scary for a whole different reason.
Job Postings Can’t Get Scarier
I won’t begin to predict what’s happening next with the economy (I’ll leave that to people much smarter than me), but I know that we have to start getting better about explaining requirements. We have to start hiring the right person for the right thing – a thing we’ve taken the time to identify beyond “I’m working too much and need to hire someone.”
The guessing that happens between “I want to hire” and the first job posting is exactly what makes these job postings so scary. These people are making decisions about someone’s future without certainty on what they’re looking for, let alone the security of the job.
On the other side is a person – someone who needs a gig to pay their bills. The person who wants to change and is willing to change everything for a new job. This job post is more than just a list of requirements for the reader. It’s a story they can imagine living and that means we need to write something that won’t scare them back into a job that isn’t good for them.
The Job Postings That Scared Us The Most
The bar is low, but these scary job postings take it even lower. Prepare to be entertained by the most cringeworthy of 2022.
I guess you could call this clarity but the only thing they’re making clear is the biases here.
They took the mask all the way off while they were writing this one holy shit pic.twitter.com/MdoTWXzHxM— Themperor Kennedy🐸🏳️🌈 (@kennedytcooper) September 19, 2022
Passion for pay, only.
“This is an unpaid part-time role”— Brooklin Nash (@realBrookNash) September 19, 2022
um no thank you pic.twitter.com/tGaQnGpsoM
I actually asked someone on my team to translate this one, it’s that bad. You should see the reactions on Twitter.
A job posting that includes the words "Smiles Wanted" is not the job for me— Kona Slater (@KonaSlater) September 12, 2022
Companies now posting multiple jobs in one job post— @levelsio (@levelsio) September 20, 2022
Money to hire is really drying up! pic.twitter.com/vjncSIWwZh
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.