How not to write a job advert

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy]

A reader forwarded the following job advert to me. I believe it to be genuine, so if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with him.

Reporting directly to the CEO, and functioning as critical member of the global senior leadership team, the MD-Sales, Europe (MDSE) will assume a key leadership/transformational role in the organization. He/she will directly manage, upgrade and continue to build out/enhance a European sales team (provide leadership, direction, coaching, mentoring, sales discipline, team building etc.). Individual will, also, educate and train European staff members (sales and delivery/operations) to embrace and execute against an evolving, transformational shift in go-to-market strategy. Acting as the Company’s external thought leader, spokesperson and evangelist for the European community, the MDSE will clearly and inspirationally articulate and promote the Company’s innovative vision and messaging in order to build awareness and ongoing traction in the marketplace.

I’m so glad this a job that I’m singularly unqualified to do.

For a start, there’s all that tautology! How do I know when I’m providing “leadership” rather than “direction”? I’m sure I can cope with some “coaching”, but “mentoring” too? Then there’s the fact that I’d be expected to “clearly articulate” (as opposed to opaquely?) and “inspirationally promote” (as opposed to drearily?) the Company’s “innovative vision and messaging” (huh?). All in the name of a triply tautological “evolving, transformational shift”. Not sure I can take the pressure.

Especially when there are all those bizarre uses of prepositions to grapple with, such as “building out” and “executing against” (though they missed a trick with “reporting to” – doesn’t everyone, rather obscenely, “report into” their bosses these days?).

And that’s before we get to all the forward slashing and parenthesising and unnecessary capitalisation! Phew! Just getting your head around the Company (sic) style guide would leave you barely any time for executing your leaderly transformation / transformational leadership.

That said, while I’ve no idea how to “embrace and execute against an evolving, transformational shift in go-to-market strategy”, I can do quite a nice line in derision and disparagement. So please get in touch if your senior leadership team also needs a he/she to “function as critical member”.

Have you spotted some corporate gobbledygook that should be featured on the goodcopybadcopy blog? If so, Get in touch and if it’s really bad, I’ll pull it to pieces in public for you. Sound like a deal?

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