Survey: What Details Do You Want to See in Tech Job Posts?

A tech job posting is meant to entice. It should draw you in, get you excited, and leave you hoping you get a call. But many postings miss the mark wildly.

This failure isn’t limited to tech, but tech job postings often aren’t all they can be. It’s a nuanced problem; sometimes recruiters posting the job don’t have all the necessary info, or the company posting for a position doesn’t know exactly what it’s looking for (at least, not yet).

Such hand-wringing can cause one of the more annoying features (bugs, really) in job postings: buzzwords. Yes, the robust and scalable job you’re encouraged to apply for might be for machine learning, so please be prepared to show your experience with if-statements during the whiteboard interview (groan).

Fudging the copy for a job posting has side effects. Data shows there’s a bit of (probably unintended) gender bias in job postings. The buzzword bingo often includes aggressive language such as “ninja,” which some think leads to more male applicants. Bullet-points versus well-written copy also attracts male applicants, says Textio.

But it’s not all bad news. Even though buzzwords such as “artificial intelligence” grab eager eyes (and are possibly overused), they do represent actual jobs. Some platforms are also more job-ready than others: Siri and Alexa have more job postings than Google Assistant, for instance.

We have to wonder if job postings have enough detail. Buzzwords in postings are the equivalent of article clickbait, and won’t ever stop – but should those listing jobs online be more upfront about what they’re actually offering?

In other words, should those postings surface some kind of salary range, even if there is a wide delta between the low and high markers? Should recruiters hold out for more info from companies looking for applicants, such as the framework or languages needed for the job?

It’s your turn to be heard. The survey below asks what info you think job postings need. Do you want to know the salary range? The hiring process? Do you think job postings are fine as they are? Let us know! We’ll publish our results in a future article.

5 Responses to “Survey: What Details Do You Want to See in Tech Job Posts?”

  1. RE: “…The buzzword bingo often includes aggressive language such as “ninja,” which some think leads to more male applicants. Bullet-points versus well-written copy also attracts male applicants, says Textio….”

    I don’t mean to come off as racist-like in any way shape or form. But when I see “ninja”, it’s going to turn me off because it is Japanese terminology, and I visualize black-hooded figures with swords chopping people in two all over the place. I also wonder if the ad is signalling a preference for Japanese-descended applicants. Rockstar is probably racial-neutral, but an awful lot of rockstars who are musicians and singers seem to have some unpopular images. Even ‘software engineer’ makes me want to skip the ad ever since I read that Washington State likes to prosecute everyone who so much as hints at being a ‘software engineer’ in their resume unless they can prove to have passed some moronic ‘professional engineer’ exam and license procedure.

    • IMHO, “software engineer” isn’t even a thing. I think the “engineer” was used to replace “developer” to make the job sound more impressive. Now we “security engineer” (whatever the heck *that* is), “infrastructure engineer”, “support engineer” (help desk jockey?), etc. The pay didn’t get any better but, bippity-bobbity-boo, now you’re an “engineer”.

      The state licensing boards were, I think, set up to regulate the people who called themselves “engineers” to prevent shysters from coming and designing bad bridges and buildings that collapse and kill people. Electrical engineers often go through the exam/licensing process if they’re going to be working on projects where a licensed pro is needed by law. Engineering societies fought this battle over the use of the word “engineer” back in the ’80s and lost. States that are still going after people with “engineer” in their job titles should really limit their legal battles to going after those who describe themselves as a “licensed professional engineer” when they are not. I’ve held jobs where my title was “electrical engineer”, “research engineer”, etc., even though I never took/passed the PE exam. Nobody went to court.

  2. For contractors, please provide hourly rates and say up-front whether it’s plus expenses or all inclusive.

    I’d like to know if the client company actively uses offshore tech workers. US companies are very abusive of their own countrymen by making American tech pros work at the same rates as offshore counterparts!!

  3. Keith Busloff

    How about straight talk. No Buzz words. Words like Ninja, Rockstar, or go-getter mean little to the job requirements or skills necessary to get the job done.

    List the technology needed, the number of years experience for each skill and which of the skills are mandatory vs nice to haves. Also, list the rate and salary range.

    If recruiters follow these simple rules you’ll get a better response and find a good candidate quicker

    • Spot on. Enough with the boilerplate verbiage in these postings (large corporations are particularly guilty of this). List the actual duties and expectations involved. And if NOT having a full 5 years of software experience will eliminate you from contention, then please just state that.

      Applicants spend a lot of time crafting their resumes and cover letters. Save them from going through an entire application process only to be denied by the ATS when they select 3 years rather than 5 in the drop-down menu.