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“Work hard, play hard” and “fruit basket” – applicants can no longer hear these phrases

2024-02-24T04:32:58.379Z

Highlights: New data collected by the e-learning platform “Preply’. Based on a survey of 1,000 German office workers, the platform examined how the choice of words in job advertisements affects the perception of a company. It was found that companies that advertise with annoying phrases leave a negative impression on the majority of those surveyed (66 percent) “Work hard, play hard” and “fruit basket” – applicants can no longer hear these phrases. “Beyond the 9-5 mentality”: What sounds like flexibility actually often means overtime and weekend shifts.



As of: February 24, 2024, 5:26 a.m

By: Laura Hindelang

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Instead of describing the job in detail, many job advertisements consist of empty words.

Some of these phrases immediately scare applicants away.

In times of a shortage of skilled workers, new employees are highly competitive.

But instead of a four-day week or home office, many companies still entice people with the long-defamed fruit basket.

All too often, the job advertisements are similar: they consist of a series of vague phrases or anglicisms that are supposed to make a company seem cool and hip - but in reality scare away many applicants.

This is shown by new data collected by the e-learning platform “Preply”.

Based on a survey of 1,000 German office workers, the platform examined how the choice of words in job advertisements affects the perception of a company.

Job advertisements that deter applicants

It was found that companies that advertise with annoying phrases leave a negative impression on the majority of those surveyed (66 percent).

In the group of 16-24 year olds, 71 percent were put off by standard formulations.

Job advertisements full of technical jargon, anglicisms and vague expressions do not leave a good impression on applicants.

© Rüdiger Wölk/Imago

The three expressions that scare off the most interested parties are:

  • “Work hard, play hard”: 32 percent consider this phrase to be overused.

    The term is particularly poorly received by the 45-54 age group: 48 percent find the term disturbing.

  • “All-rounder”: Companies want multi-talented people who can be used flexibly.

    26 percent think nothing of it.

  • “Beyond the 9-5 mentality”: What sounds like flexibility actually often means overtime and weekend shifts.

    25 percent of the study participants perceive the term as negative.

The respondents also rated the following phrases as disturbing:

  • “Stress-resistant” (24 percent)

  • “Ability to work under pressure” (23 percent)

  • “Fruit basket” (22 percent)

  • “Out of your comfort zone” (21 percent)

  • “Real tacklers” (21 percent)

  • “Career maker” (21 percent)

  • “Multitasking” (19 percent)

  • “Great team” (18 percent)

  • “Hands-on mentality” (18 percent)

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Applicants have little use for job descriptions that use such expressions.

Instead, they want more clarity, as a survey by the job portal “ meinestadt.de ” showed last year.

Of 3,000 employees, 58.2 percent said that listing the work content was particularly important to them.

50.2 percent would like information about the security of the job offered and 49 percent want to know what the salary is.

Anglicisms in job advertisements leave question marks

Empty phrases such as the “dynamic working environment,” which, according to analyzes by “ Meinestadt.de ” and “ Preply ,” is mentioned particularly frequently in job advertisements, leave room for interpretation.

Whether this means the ability to work from home or the fact that employees quit every week often only becomes clear when you are part of the company yourself.

Don't miss out: You can find everything about jobs and careers in the regular career newsletter from our partner Merkur.de.

Terms that come from English also cause question marks.

Older generations in particular are unfamiliar with many Anglicisms, which means that job advertisements are not understood or create false expectations.

The “hands-on mentality” refers to a person who shows initiative and acts immediately.

However, 25 percent of those surveyed by “Preply” do not know the term, and in the age group 45 and over the figure is even a third.

The right choice of words makes job and employee searches easier

22 percent cannot do anything with a working life “beyond the 9-5 mentality”.

The 9-5 work rhythm was an invention of US unions and its basic features date back to the 19th century.

Nowadays it is often used to describe the monotonous everyday working life.

What lies beyond this is probably up to the discretion of each individual company.

Well-chosen words that get to the core of the job offer can inspire potential applicants for a particular position and the company.

“They give a first impression of the culture and values ​​that the company embodies,” says Sylvia Johnson, language expert at Preply.

For example, words like “development,” “career development,” and “learning” could attract employees looking for growth opportunities within a company.

The preponderance of annoying phrases, however, makes it almost impossible for applicants to get a realistic idea of ​​the work.

And the off-putting standard expressions also make it difficult for companies to find employees.

Companies should therefore make more effort and formulate their job offers more clearly and individually.

Source: merkur

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