Ten tired job ad buzzwords

Are you on the look-out for a 'passionate, motivated, innovative, organised' new recruit? Join the jargon club. You've just used four of the top ten buzzwords of the year.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander

Last month, job search website Adzuna analysed over 500,000 UK jobs ads to find out the buzzwords most over-used by British employers. It struck gold. Over half of all job ads posted in the last month have used at least one of the top three terms, demanding ‘communication skills’, or ‘passionate’ or ‘motivated’ applicants, and almost 90% of ads in the UK include at least one cliché from the top 10.

MT would like to take this opportunity to give you the Collins Dictionary definition of 'passionate': 'manifesting or exhibiting intense sexual feeling or desire'. Not necessarily something you want in the workplace...

Here’s the full list of 2012 buzzwords:

Buzzword Number of jobs % of all UK jobs
Communication Skills 106,223 20%
Passionate 93,102 18%
Motivated 61,022
Organised 40,154 8%
Track Record 36,290 7%
Innovative 30,709 6%
Dynamic 28,002 5%
Proactive 27,022 5%
Creative 23,434
Enthusiastic 22,482 4%

And it doesn’t end there. There are a host of new and ‘wacky’ buzzwords being used to lure in talent, mainly in the digital space. As of last month, 596 UK employers were trying to hire a ‘guru’, 70 wanted a ‘ninja’ (the web variety, rather than a genuine kung fu master), and one employer was even seeking a ‘Jedi’.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here

Email: mtsupport@haymarket.com

Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Up to 4 free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Become a subscriber

From £66 a quarter

  • Full access to managementtoday.co.uk
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine
  • Plus lots more, including our State of the Industry Report.

Choose a Package