September 7, 2021

Reading Between the (Job) Lines

Help wanted sign
Credit: Tim Mossholder via Unsplash

Job descriptions are littered with coded language which depict workplace culture as more enticing, friendly, and open than it really is. We’ve compiled a list of the ones that keep cropping up when on the job hunt!

#1: “Unlimited PTO”

Between the lines: “No one actually feels comfortable taking time off!”

#2: “We’re like family!”

Between the lines: “We see each other more than our actual family.” 

#3: “Jack of all trades.”

Between the lines: “Even though the job description says one thing, you really have to do 3 other jobs and not complain!”

#4: “Thick skin is a must.”

Between the lines: “Must be ok with being spoken to inappropriately, yelled at, or mistreated, and never cry or show emotions.”

#5: “Self starter.”

Between the lines: If you need someone to show you the ropes, this is not the job for you. Run!

#6: “Snacks!”

Between the lines: “We have to have some food because you can’t leave for lunch. And even though you will get bored of the same 5 snacks, we will never change them out!”

#7: Salary commensurate with experience.

Between the lines: “We want to pay you as little as possible.”

More will crop up! But in the meantime, it never hurts to keep an eye out for language used to soften workplace culture.