Recently a friend who was actively looking for work asked me my opinion on a job she wanted to apply to.
She had me at “your opinion”.
She was struggling with striking the right tone in response to the job posting that included this gem: “able to get shit done”.
I had to laugh because we have all wanted to say something like that in an ad. Come on. You totally did.
However my friend was a bit offended and thought it was unprofessional. She was asking me for ideas on how to respond to that point without going there.
My suggestion was that she either play along or don’t bother. Either you answer in kind and tell them how you are an expert shit handler or you take a pass on the job. I mean the whole point of using a line like that is to ensure that anyone who would be put off by it would not apply.
I agree with my friend that it was not professional, in the traditional sense; however, it would be less of a shock to see this upfront than to discover after the fact that the “professional” company you just joined was just a front for the Trailer Park Boys fan club.
I am a fan of being honest and upfront, from both the employer and the candidate perspective. Perhaps we are all so conditioned to play the games, read between the lines of the job ad/ résumé, and hold our cards close to our chest that it is hard to conceive that someone actually means what they are saying.
While I don`t think it`s necessary for employers to have to go so far as to attract candidates by being shocking or controversial, I do think it`s a good idea for them to be honest about who they are, so that candidates can make the right decision to either apply or keeping on walking by.
Of course, that`s just my opinion.