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What That Job Ad Really Means to Say

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Here’s another wonderful Internet meme: what all those cliched phrases in job ads really mean to say.

Ability To Handle A Heavy Workload: You whine, you’re fired.
Apply In Person: If you’re old, fat or ugly you’ll be told the position has been filled.
Career-Minded: Female applicants must be childless (and remain that way).
Casual Work Atmosphere: We don’t pay enough to expect that you’ll dress up.
College Degree Preferred: Unless you wasted those four years studying something useless like Philosophy, English or Theology. (Or, like me, Medieval Iceland. Seriously.)
Competitive Environment: We have a lot of turnover.
Competitive Salary: We remain competitive by paying less than our competitors.
Duties Will Vary: Anyone in the office can boss you around.
Entry-Level Position In An Up-And-Coming Company: You’ll be making under $7 an hour; we’ll be bankrupt in a year.
Flexible Hours: Work 40 hours; get paid for 25.
Good Communication Skills: Management communicates, you listen, figure out what they really mean, and do it.
Immediate Opening: The person who used to have this job gave notice a month ago. We’re just now running the ad.
Join Our Fast-Paced Company: We have no time to train you; you’ll have to introduce yourself to your coworkers.
Must Be Deadline Oriented: You’ll be six months behind schedule on your first day.
Must Have An Eye For Detail: We have no quality control.
Nationally Recognized Leader: Inc. Magazine wrote us up a few years ago, but we haven’t done anything innovative since.
No Phone Calls Please: We’ve filled the job; our call for resumes is just a legal formality.
Problem-Solving Skills A Must: You’re walking into a company in perpetual chaos.
Profit-Sharing Plan: Once it’s shared between the higher-ups, there won’t be a profit.
Requires Team Leadership Skills: You’ll have the responsibilities of a manager, without the pay or respect.
Seeking Candidates With A Wide Variety Of Experience: You’ll need it to replace three people who just left.
Some Overtime Required: Some time each night and some time each weekend.

Got any definitions of your own? Let us know in the comments!

What That Job Ad Really Means to Say by
Authored by: Erik Even

  • irishman909121

    lol some funny commentary for these rough times when so many people are looking for a job.
    Good job and keep up the good work!

  • skbernard1

    Very Funny, I must say as an HR personnel coordinator that some of these are actually true – this isn’t a bad resource for those new prospective employees looking to find a job, good read helpful and quite funny

    – Steve (

  • atallguy85

    This is so true! I started a job right out of college thinking I was “an up and comer” in an entry level job…two years later, still in my entry level position, oh well at least this makes me feel like I am not the only one! Thanks
    Jacob K

  • lordatvar

    My name is John Boy:

    I enjoyed this post so much. It made me laugh several times. My favorite was the Must Be Deadline Oriented. That would suck being six months behind right at the start. 🙂

  • demanar

    All those make sense.


  • demanar

    You know I think I have heard plenty of these at an interview I has recently. I like the “entry level” comment. So many jobs these days you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. It almost makes sense to do it that way instead of fighting through college. Might sound crazy but it has been working for me.


  • mrsmith1701

    This article provides a modern-day translation of what these job-ads are really trying to say. Being as we live in an age where political correctness will get you far and being absent-mindedly blunt will earn you a trip to a court room while facing charges on slander or libel. Very funny article.

    Cody Tyler Smith

  • tsubasa1919

    jacques el khoury

    as someone who is about to graduate from university. and who has waited those 4 years in his life, this article isn’t too encouraging. everything about it is rather depressing and scarry. hope it doens’t turn up like this

  • arianayoung

    This is really funny and probably all true. After having entered the “real” workforce a little over a year ago, it’s easy to spot these sorts of keywords, and then recognize their translations.
    Ariana –

  • tenupgrade

    I loved the post. It realy was the truth though. It really gives insight in a humourous way what ads are really saying

    Josh S

  • CT
    This article is so true! cannot believe someone had the nerve to post but I am glad it is out there now!

  • dusty4d

    Dusty D.

    I find that this article is entertaining and true because I feel the same way about these topics. I know for certain that this is how I feel when I’m at work. Each topic that it goes off of in work ad fits so nicely into how I think actual employers really feel this way. Very fun and trully satirical
    to me.

  • jennyjackson

    Ha ha. That is funny because it’s so true! I feel like it is a great guide to deciphering all the job spec speak.

  • azmath

    Here is a job site which offer you the unique job opportunities. it provides jobs which extract the inner capabilities of an employer in a disciplined manner.


  • travexx

    Hi, my name is Brady This is a Great article about reading and identifying job ads. I like how you point out the positives and the negatives. Thank you very much for the fantastic article.

  • steel2050

    a lot of thoses are both funny and true.
    computer knowledge requested is “have fun on twitter”
    now hiring “becase we just got done firing

  • Chrisy

    I’ve been a big victim of “Duties as Assigned.” It basically means that anything someone else doesn’t want to do, or can’t do, or simply forgot to do, you not only need to notice this happening but also complete whatever the task is flawlessly. This little nugget usually doesn’t show up until you’ve already accepted the job and are signing all the paperwork… be sure to check your official job description before the pen touches paper!

  • Thes Davenger

    Too funny. This is a great translation of business-speak to real life English. This article should come attached to most application so that people really know what they are getting into.

    Thes Davenger

  • Nickd

    Hi, im Nick. I believe you are pushing these points a little to hard. I understand that flexable hours might mean working late or being sent home early but working for 40 and getting paid for 25? Thats a little crucial. The points brought up in this post are very good but i believe they are a little extreeme.

  • Mdelosgomez

    This article is great, I loved it. Made me laugh but sadly sometimes it really isn’t a laughing matter because most of the time, like most other people would agree, its very true. Even at my work place alot of these definitions apply. But I loved the article!

  • nad54

    Hi this is nad at
    This is a fantastic article.Really explains why we have to go through so much trouble to find that right job.Kudos to the writer for solving the mystery of the corporate terms.Very well written.

  • frasers

    This add made me roll around in laughter ! We have all been in the situation of looking for a job and wondering why I didn’t I get hired . this website is an excellent resource and should be used by all.

  • evobee

    I enjoy reading articles like this… You really need to use some form of common sense to come up with these translations. Either you have experienced a few of the listed “JOB ADS” or you know someone who has. I will deffinatly pass this around the office…

  • Milton53

    Very entertaining read. Its always nice to try and keep a sense of humor even with the current state of jobs. I am a first time reader of this site and I think i will keep checking back.

    MJohnson (

  • djinni

    hey, i thought that was a great article, ive had a few jobs with descriptors like this and im glad someone finally got it right. keep up the good work.

    -shae’ (shae,

  • David Mora

    HAHA!!! These clever and witty statements about job ads managed to brighten my gloomy day through sharp humor. The comments are a true testimony to the motives behind the majority of job ads – “Requires Team Leadership Skills” – Very true and extremely hilarious!


  • alexgoodmoo21

    that was a very funny social commentary about jobs and most of the things you talk about are funny and true i especially liked the career- minded one that’s funny

  • youngl415

    I found this article to be very funny! I like the satire and how ironic it really is. I will try to send it to my friends.

  • lukewind

    A very funny article, It does a lot to show how people feel about what we see when we are looking for a job. Keep up the good work!


  • Stupideye

    Haha, that is too true. Whenever I read classifieds in the paper sometimes I think that too. After looking for so many jobs over the years and working for different companies. You learn what the true meanings behind what they are asking for.

  • ewhsgegax

    Very funny, coming from a small family owned business i can really related to some of these hiring jokes! I showed my parents this and hey got a laugh!


  • Rin23

    These definition for job ads are so true. haha I got a good laugh out of this with my coworkers. I’lll keep some of these in mind when i’m job hunting!


  • veojeo

    wow thats funny too bad im not old or fat or ugly. the one ad i like the most is work 40 hours get paid for 35. but really these ads would be really mean for those who wanted a new job. but during a time we are in now who cant help but joke around you know!

  • angie828

    This article really makes sense to me. You hit the nail right on the head. Employers do not have the guts to say this but this is what they really mean.

  • bunniedoeswork

    Hilarious, well I guess we should all keep a good head for humour on our shoulders. At the same time it does show that at the moment you really do need to be keen to get and keep that job!
    Clare Wilders

  • jake00011

    Lol pretty funny stuff there! Will definitely make looking for a job much more fun.
    oh and really, Medieval Iceland, what were you thinking =)

  • ChaosLane

    You speak the truth. I was very amused at how much some of those hit home for me. My wife got a kick out of it too. Very good work!

    Michael L.

  • Kim Ferrel

    It’s like you were reading my mind!!! This article was great!! Nice comic relief for those looking for a job and so frustrated! I just wish it weren’t SO TRUE! Thanks for making my day just a little brighter!


  • coriadiek

    I really enjoyed this article, and believe there is a lot of truth and experience behind it. One of my favorite ones would have to be “Must Be Deadline Oriented”- Yeah, I have had that phrase thrown at me before….

    Overall great article!

  • candidobserver

    Oh boy, guess I should start getting ready for an “Entry-Level Position.” Nice view on all business stuff, gave a guy outside of it all the real deal instead off all that double talk and hyperbole. Good stuff, keep it up!


  • Papp

    Lol, I guess I’ll keep that in mind when I’m looking for a job. All of those seem so true.


  • mrmikejackson

    Wow, Its nice to see a spot on translation for what job ad’s really mean. The only sad part is that most, if not all of what you said is totally true. Either way thanks for the laugh.


  • metalhead14147

    These are very funny but true statements! I think if more people could see this they would know when they are filling out a job application what to expect when they start working. These statements are funny but an actually true way to put them.


  • huish247

    yep that flexible hours part is true – i had a job with “flexible” hours – hardly ever got work – and not much pay for the work i did!


  • dozzmun

    I very much enjoyed this article. It’s refreshing to see a spot on translation for what job ad’s are really trying to say. The part about “Entry-Level Position In An Up-And-Coming Company: You’ll be making under $7 an hour; we’ll be bankrupt in a year.” had me laughing out loud because it is SO TRUE. Great read! Keep up the good work!



    Immediate Opening: The person who used to have this job gave notice a month ago. We’re just now running the ad.

    This is our company for sure. We never actually post a job until the previous person has left. There’s never any sort of an overlap person. You just have to go through their old documents and hope for the best. 🙂


  • camerontesterman

    Hahaha, these are all oh so true. Especially the “duties will vary” that usually translates into “you will be the new guy and you will do ALL the work nobody else wants to.”

    Cameron Testerman

  • pyromano676

    HAHAHAHAHAHA these things always make me laugh. I’ll bookmark this one and use it as a translator next time I’m looking for a job. (although with these translations I’ll be hard pressed to find one that sounds good)

  • bobjuice

    hahaha this is so funny but true i just tried to apply for a job and i didn’t get the job cause the employer said “you looked experienced and were looking for someone with a little less experience” aka your old

  • flipside65

    Wow, this list is so very true. I can’t believe how many times I decided to look over job ad posts and see these terms and thought to myself this means “less pay” or “long hours.” Companies always like to put a false sense out to new applicants and once you get hired than you see the dirty side of the job.