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To ninja or not to ninja: The weirdest job titles that put off job seekers

To ninja or not to ninja: The weirdest job titles that put off job seekers

Nobody wants to be a 'clerk' or an ‘associate’ anymore - or at least that's what recruiters in the US believe, and are thus experimenting with new and colourful job titles that include terms like ninjas, wizards, and gurus. 

These were the findings of a new survey by Resume.io, which combed articles on websites to identify the most common quirky titles, then grabbed data for the most popular ones from over 10,000 job ads. It was found that three in four (74%) of all adverts for a 'hacker' are for marketing roles (e.g. growth hacker). On the flipside, tech roles are more likely to be for a genius, evangelist, or wrangler.

Alas, a professional Jedi is still a rare thing: just 103 job descriptions were found citing Jedi powers as a desirable skill, and only two positions that come with a Jedi job title.

In this US-based survey, the following were identified to be the top 10 popular 'alternative' job titles:

  1. Champion (1045 mentions in job ads)
  2. Hero (928 mentions in job ads)
  3. Warrior (926 mentions in job ads)
  4. Guru (870 mentions in job ads)
  5. Rockstar (849 mentions in job ads)
  6. Hacker (833 mentions in job ads)
  7. Evangelist (822 mentions in job ads)
  8. Storyteller (779 mentions in job ads)
  9. Genius (711 mentions in job ads)
  10. Knight (637 mentions in job ads)

While using such descriptors in job descriptions might be a new trend for recruiters to try, it doesn't seem like job seekers are buying the bait. 

In fact, ads featuring the term champion put off at least two-thirds (69%) of job seekers from applying, it was found upon surveying 1,000 Americans to find out how they feel about these terms and whether they affect their perception of the job.

Further, women are 30% less likely to apply to champion or genius roles than men, and 38% less likely to apply to be a guru.

aditi oct 2020 job titles resumeio provided


In title only: Champions of hospitality, heroes of healthcare

Looking at the split of ads containing the target terms by sector, a few things stand out:

  • 74% of 'hacker' ads are for roles in marketing, e.g. 'growth hacker'
  • 73% of 'warrior' and 61% of 'hero' ads are for healthcare jobs, often in nursing
  • 62% of 'evangelist' job ads are in tech, often for roles like 'product evangelist'
  • 35% of 'ninja' ads are for roles in education & training
  • Around 20% of ads containing 'champion' and 'rockstar' are in hospitality, i.e. accommodation and food service. 

All things aside, there's a good chance that the (rockstar) recruiter who wrote the advert was simply trying to liven up their day with some poetic license. So let's enjoy the creativity in this new trend!

Photos / Resume.io

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