Tuesday, June 27, 2017

TIP TUESDAY: I HATE BUZZZZZWORDS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My job search has reminded me of how much I hate buzzwords. Some of the job descriptions I've read make absolutely no sense. One said that the employee's duties would include "onboarding clients." What? Put them on board? Is it a cruise?

Favorite Young Man calls this kind of writing "corporate speak." I don't know the language.

Unless you're writing for a specific audience, avoid buzzwords.

Here are some buzzwords I can't stand:

Empowerment
Face Time
Impact (instead of effect)
Paradigm Shift
Stratcom
Unpack
Come-to-Jesus Moment
Downsizing
Logistics
Offshoring
Benchmarking
Synergy

I'm also amused by all the Web sites that tell me if I have even one typo in my resumé, then the potential employer will toss it in the trash. But the job descriptions are full of errors!

One of them said that the employee needed to have 205 years of experience. Wow! That company needs to hire someone much older than I am. The descriptions have plenty of misspelled words and misused words, too.

Someone needs to hire Your Queen of Grammar to write the job descriptions.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Thanks, fishducky!

45 comments:

  1. That's hysterical! Demanding no errors and they can't write a job description--LOL! You wouldn't want to work for them, anyways. Their loss. Bleh! ;)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I should copy and paste some of these job descriptions. They make no sense and are filled with misspelled words.

      Delete
  2. Hi Janie - sadly we see it all the time ... and misspelt [(British English) - Misspelled (American English!)] words. But I couldn't agree more and everyone uses the same phrases repetitively ... we should all check our work before hitting the publish button.

    Cheers Hilary

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes I fall into using a word repetitively, but then I notice it and try to stop.

      Delete
  3. Oh how this strikes a chord. These nonsense phrases that business people come up with to make their job sound more important than it is. It's even bleeding into the job names. I saw one for a "Creative Media Specialist." As opposed to what, a trite communications amateur?

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    1. I'm a trite communications amateur. Really, in all the job descriptions, the employers want everyone to be an expert at everything and have years of experience. How does anyone ever get a first job?

      Delete
  4. "Out of pocket" irritates me. Supposedly it means unavailable, but how they made that leap is beyond me.

    xo
    Andi

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    1. I didn't know that it had come to mean unavailable. That's ridiculous.

      Delete
  5. They definitely need your help Janie! I don't mind some of the buzz words that you listed. I'm fond of the come-to-Jesus moment one. But one that I have always hated since it started is the paradigm shift. That drives me crazy anytime anyone says it!
    What's wrong with "unpack"?? Isn't that what you do when you get back from a trip??

    Have a great day!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    Replies
    1. Let's unpack (analyze) the significance of this sentence.

      Delete
  6. Job searches can be so frustrating! I wish you all the best, Janie. The lack of proofreading skills nowadays is appalling, isn't it? :P I spent almost 20 years in the corporate world and am fluent in 'corporate-speak'. 'Downsizing' is a word I'm particularly familiar with, as that's what happened to me after many years of loyal servitude.

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    1. How dare they downsize Debbie the Doglady? I bet you like the work you do now much better.

      Delete
  7. You have just invented your perfect job - editing job descriptions! You should send copies of the corrected job descriptions to the businesses as a sample of your work, along with your rates for future work. I'm serious.

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    1. I've been thinking about trying that.

      Delete
  8. Too much nonsense when it comes to job searches! Why does it have to be so complicated and so anal. Is it okay to say anal on your blog? :)

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    Replies
    1. Fuck, yeah. You can say anal all you want.

      Delete
  9. Fortunately, I don't use any of the "buzz" words on your list but I do use others.

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  10. I will join with you on some of the words. The one I dislike most is strategy. Every single meeting does not need a strategy when a plan will suffice. It is not like we are staging an invasion when planning a bridal shower.

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    1. Excellent comment, Anne. You made me smile.

      Delete
  11. I can't respect a job posting with grammatical errors or misspellings! FFS, people! Proofreading is your friend! Haha.

    I'm really careful to avoid errors on my resume or when I write cover letters. It's a matter of self respect for me!

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    1. I'm careful with everything I write, but I still make the occasional error.

      Delete
  12. Idioms are always odd when taken literally. (The Phantom Tollbooth had a field day with it, idiom intended:) ) When new, as in the corporate lingo you mention ^, we still hear the oddities.

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    1. I have never read The Phantom Tollbooth. I think my daughter read it and loved it. I bet I'd like it, too.

      Delete
  13. Ha ha! The ones that get me are not corporate speak but everyday phrases that get overused or used incorrectly: swap out, a pop of colour, in heavy rotation ... or when people start using the big word of the moment instead of common language (the word comprises comes to mind here - these days everything "comprises" other things - whatever happened to "consists of," or "is made up of"?) Sheesh. I probably have my own indiscretions I'm not even aware of, though, so ...

    Yes, you could definitely do a lot of good by writing job descriptions. Or proofreading the news. A never-ending job!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. When I read the crawl on the bottom of the screen while watching MSNBC or CNN, I'm shocked by all the errors, and no one corrects them. The crawl runs over and over with the same errors.

      Delete
  14. I doubt that most modern prospective employers would even notice most typos!

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    1. If they can't see the errors of their own ways, then how will they catch someone else's?

      Delete
  15. Sorry to read this problem of finding a job.
    I despise all the "catch" words. Just speak what you want to say not a bunch of made up corporate speak.
    So happy I am not looking for a job. One look at me and they would run screaming.
    Good Luck !

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. No one has looked at me, so I'm safe until they do. They've only seen my resumé and cover letter.

      Delete
  16. I hate the word,"restructure", as well. I am not surprised by what you wrote here and would love for you to post some examples. I think this would just prove your point

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    1. I might pick out some of the worst job descriptions I see and post them, but right now, I'm concerned about offending the people who write them because they're probably involved in the hiring process.

      Delete
  17. If there's one thing I can't abide, it's company literature that's full of errors. Heck, I work at a church as my day job, and anything we produce, right down to the weekly handout that gets tossed almost immediately when people get home, goes through every set of eyes in the place. Our communications department takes no chances.

    You should offer to correct all their literature. That might keep you working for at least six months!

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    1. I've seen some wild errors in church bulletins. Since no one has shown an interest in my application, I might as well offer to make corrections for them.

      Delete
  18. I feel bad when I leave a typo in a blog comment. If these job description writers can't spell, why don't they use spell check? Not being careful and professional smells of arrogance and I wouldn't want to work for someone like that.

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    1. I hate it when I discover a typo in a comment I've left or a post I've written. I don't think very many companies have employees who know how to write and proofread, no less understand grammar.

      Delete
  19. Check your email. I just sent you a copy of "The Phantom Tollbooth"!!

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  20. Eye-rolling Jesus is my favorite Jesus. Politicians are right up there with corporate types in the overuse of buzzwords.

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    1. Jesus probably rolls his eyes so often that it gives Him a headache.

      Delete
  21. 205 years of experience... Maybe they truly like older employees.

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    1. Maybe I can age quite a bit in the next few days. Long conversations with my children should do that.

      Delete
  22. It isn't just business that is guilty of buzzwords or "jargon" as we used to call them, Janie. Education has got to be one of the worst areas ~ and "empowerment" is one of the buzzwords. I'm thinking that I might have been guilty of an "impact" or two. I get scrambled all the time between Canadian English and American English: spelling, punctuation. Then there's business English versus academic English. Throw in 25 years of working with second and third graders, and I'm triply scrambled. If I'm tired I'll find myself putting apostrophes in front of esses and using the wrong form of there, they're, and their. Working as an editor would have me tearing my hair out! Good luck with your job hunt!

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  23. While it's not ONE word, there was a phrase I detested when I was in the Navy. If, when getting your yearly review, shame on you if your evaluation didn't include "He/she has my strongest possible personal recommendation for immediate advancement and consideration for any program leading to a commission."
    A VERY close second: "Sustained superior performance."

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