Adventures in the Job Market

Why Are Job Ads Written Like I’m Being Sold a Car?

Why can’t recruiters use plain language in their job postings

Philip Ogley
3 min readMay 18


Photo by Tom Rumble on Unsplash

I haven't applied for a job for nearly fifteen years. All the jobs I’ve had over the past one and a half decades have been by word-of-mouth or through contacts.

I’m not a high-flyer by any stretch of the imagination — I’m a groundsman in France — but I’ve always felt this is the best way to get a job. Bide your time and wait for the opportunity to arise. Instead of spending months and months applying for jobs, most of which you’re never going to get.

For me, this seems like a colossal waste of time. Especially those tedious applications that don’t allow you to apply directly with a CV or a letter. I once applied for a job with the British Council. A vast encyclopedic application form that took me a whole week to fill in. After I’d sent it off, I never heard a word from them, and vowed never to fill one in again.

So I surprised myself the other day when I found myself scrolling through job ads on various agency websites. I’ve been in this job four years now, so I’m due a change, and as it was raining, I decided to see what was out there.

There were a lot of jobs in my sector — more than I thought — but they all had one thing in common. Every line of the job description seemed to be using language that might be used to sell me insurance, socks, or a car.

One such job in Yvelines near Paris working on a large estate, read:

— Improve the quality of your life — join us!

— Unrivalled training and guidance.

— Superb promotional and career advancement opportunities.

—Discover the future of estate management.

— Exceptional competitive salary.

— High Spec accommodation included.

— Apply below. You won’t be disappointed!

God! By the time I’d finished reading it, I was exhausted. Felt like I had read a leaflet on becoming an astronaut, rather than an ad for a guy to cut the lawn.



Philip Ogley

21st century content creator