Seattle Leads the Pack in the Use of Jargon in Job Ads, a New Study Finds

The Emerald City is the perfect place to seek work if you are a ‘dynamic, action-oriented team player’ ready for a ‘paradigm shift.’
 
 
  • The Emerald City is the perfect place to seek work if you are a ‘dynamic, action-oriented team player’ ready for a ‘paradigm shift.’

If you’ve ever been in the job market, searching online listings for the next great opportunity, you’ve probably run across job postings that are packed with terms like self-starter, proactive, leverage or deliverables ― and then wondered what those words really mean.

It appears you aren’t alone, particularly if you are looking for work in Seattle.

A new study by online job-search aggregator AdView ranks Seattle first in the nation in the use of clichés and jargon in job postings. Among the top buzzwords used in Seattle job postings, the study found, are fast-paced, dynamic, action-oriented, self-starter and proven track-record. Ranking second in the jargon-busting study is San Francisco, followed by Boston; Washington, D.C.; and Irvine, California.

In addition, in a ranking of states, Washington tops the list in the use of job-posting jargon, followed by Massachusetts, California, New York and Virginia, the AdView study notes.

The study measured the use of job-listing jargon in the largest 100 cities in the U.S. and United Kingdom as well as in U.S. states. A list of 50 popular buzzwords was compiled and tracked across more than a million job listings in those markets to determine their prevalence of use. AdView bills itself as a leading place for searching the latest job ads in the UK.

In fact, Seattle ranked first overall across the U.S. and UK in the use of job-posting jargon, according to the study, which notes that “Seattle used ‘paradigm shift’ 30 times more than anywhere else” in job postings.

“Learning the language of work is one of the many challenges that young people encounter when starting out their careers,” an AdView press release about the study states. “Recruiters who promote their vacancies with jargon are potentially confusing job-seekers who would rather them explain the role in plain-speaking English to avoid disappointment on both sides.”

A searchable database of the study’s results can be found here.

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