Green Key Blog

News for the way you work

How Many Adverbs Are In Your Job Descriptions?

July 31st, 2019

job description adverbs

There's no diplomatic way to say this: Most job descriptions suck. So much so Google lists 14,000 entries on that topic alone.

Part of the problem is so many read like copies of each other: All workplaces are "fast-paced." Candidates need "Good communication skills." Salaries are always "competitive." The cliches are rampant!

But another, less well recognized offense, is the addiction to adverbs. Sure, some convey important information, but just as many simply clutter things up without adding value. OnGig, a company which specializes in making job postings readable and findable, has a blog post about the overuse of adverbs and the negative impact it has on apply rates.

If you check out the post, you'll see Ongig's objection to adverbs is that they tend to lengthen a job description; the more the words, the lower the apply rate. And, from our observation, wordy ads lower the apply rate from the best and most talented people who are too busy to read a job description novella.

In the pantheon of job description offenses, adverb abuse is a misdemeanor. You won't get jail time, but why be like everyone else? With recruiting practically a blood sport, anything that will give you an edge is worth considering.

And just in case you've forgotten your grade school grammar, Ongig has a list of the 50 most used adverbs they found by analyzing 70,000 job descriptions.

Leave a Reply

comments powered by Disqus