In an ideal world, a job description would clearly summarize the essential responsibilities, activities, qualifications, and skills for a role. But, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Canva, the graphic design platform, recently analyzed 6.3 million job ads across multiple countries and industries to explore the problem of jargon in job postings. And what they found is astounding.
The research revealed that 38% of job postings contained confusing jargon words and phrases, with the top three being “team player,” “dynamic,” and “self-starter.” So which industries are most guilty of using buzzwords in their job ads? You guessed it: information technology, marketing and finance.
You want accurate and engaging job descriptions to improve your organization’s time to hire. Here are some additional reasons why it’s best to avoid jargon in job postings.
Unnecessary jargon confuses applicants
There is no real benefit to using jargon in job postings. One study found that it prevents job seekers from applying because they don’t understand it, particularly in the 16-24 age group and those from foreign or disadvantaged backgrounds. Another study found that applicants take between 49 to 77 seconds to decide whether a job posting is right for them. With this in mind, recruiters need to position the role so that applicants quickly grasp what the job entails. Clarity at this stage is beneficial for recent graduates who are less familiar with industry terms than more experienced candidates.
Your audience may not trust you
A study by New York University found that the use of jargon led people to think a company is lying. In four experiments, the impact of concreteness of language on judgments of truth was examined. It was found that statements of the same content were judged as more probably true when written in concrete language than when they were written in abstract language. In the words of Aristotle, “Style to be good must be clear. Clearness is secured by using words that are current and ordinary.” So, to build trust in your company, use plain terms that are easy to understand.