I am continually amazed by the enduring power of words in our oh-so-modern world (and I say this of course as an unrepentant wordsmith). For example: last week I watched a webinar by GlassDoor in which they talked about ‘traditional job boards’ – i.e., everyone but GlassDoor – and ‘modern job boards’ (yep, that would be GlassDoor). Traditional versus modern. Gee, which one should I pick? What a great piece of reframing, eh? (And I’m not picking on GlassDoor per se, so don’t come after me with pitchforks!).
Words are powerful, wonderful things – if used intentionally and with care and precision. Witness the common job ad – deadly boring and ineffective because of word-misuse, but surprisingly effective and efficient if written well. We know that a well-written job ad is much more successful at attracting candidates – but most of the time we (and I mean this in a very general sense) don’t bother writing well.
So…I tip my hat to GlassDoor for using the word ‘modern’ intentionally and effectively. Really.
An example of what can go wrong if you don’t worry about words? Well, look no further than the latest employer offering from Indeed. If you click the link, you will see a tongue-twister of a headline: “Hire Top Tech Talent from Indeed Prime”. Then an anonymous but no doubt meant to be persuasive second sentence: “Indeed Prime is a free pilot program that matches companies with the best candidates for their hard to fill roles.” Ugh. If that’s not enough, then why not throw in the current ‘word de jour’: ‘curated’? “As part of Indeed Prime, selected companies will gain access to a curated candidate pool of Software Engineers….” What, pray tell, does curated mean? Let us turn to a dictionary: “to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content”. So the word is used correctly, but it implies some level of review or selection. What will that be? “Only the top 5% candidates who apply for Indeed Prime pass our rigorous screening process.” Whew! Glad we cleared that up.
I admit, I am picking on Indeed – but not their product, just their writing! It’s anonymous marketing verbiage. They may get signups for Indeed Prime, but they won’t come as a result of the words they used to promote it.
How do you use words for your service? Are they afterthoughts, dropped in to fill blank space? Or are they carefully considered and used for specific purposes and effects? Maybe you’re not good with words – no problem, find someone that is. And if you are good with words, then use your gift! You’ll make more money, have more clients, and generally feel better about yourself.
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