Skip the Corporate Jargon, Cliches,
and Soft Skills
How corporate jargon, corporate cliches, and soft skills in your job
posting language can confuse and deter qualified and unqualified job
A job listing is a window, says Datapeople, and it’s
often the only view of a job and organization that
potential candidates see.
(External job ads used for recruiting, not internal job
descriptions that used for human resources
Including things like corporate jargon,
soft skills, and corporate cliches in job
posting language is like smearing
mud across the window.
Datapeople’s science team recently analyzed job
listing data from over 10,000 U.S.-based
employers and found a number of recruiting
trends. Among them, researchers found some
subtle shifts in job posting language (e.g.,
diminished use of soft skills).
Corporate cliches take different forms in job posting language. They
include corporate jargon, trending buzzwords, tired expressions, and
If the main purpose of a job posting is to
inform job seekers about a position,
phrases like ‘drive business growth’ and
‘think outside the box’ don’t clarify things,
Neither do references to key performance
indicators (KPIs) or objectives and key
results (OKRs) without explanations of
what they mean.
Datapeople found that use of corporate cliches hasn’t diminished. Over the last few years, about 18%
of tech job posts have included a high level of cliches, corporate jargon, and the like. They appear most
frequently in listings for less technical jobs and less frequently for more technical jobs.
In 2019, about 25% of tech job posts included a
high level of soft skills, according to Datapeople.
That percentage was 14% lower in 2020 and 2021.
Among new big tech companies, the percentage fell
43%, although it varied by individual company in
For the job seeker, expectations include the
compensation and benefits they’ll receive and what
they can expect regarding workplace culture, says
Datapeople. Setting expectation