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Red Flags From Job Listings That Scream 'Stay Away'

Reddit user Zdvj asked: 'What are some job-posting red flags that scream “Stay away”?'

Two men shaking hands during job interview

Being able to work and make enough money to pay bills and get groceries is harder and more important than ever, but finding a good quality job where someone feels appreciated is being to feel as rare as, well, seeing a unicorn.

Ironically, it's the workplaces you'd want to avoid that are the exact ones who are seeking a unicorn themselves.


Redditor Zdvj asked:

"What are some job-posting red flags that scream 'Stay away'?"

"We're Looking For a Unicorn."

"Any use of the word 'Rockstar.'"

- Jsmith0730

"Or 'Ninja.'"

- Pumpkinspicepolice

"Also, 'Guru.'"

- nocolon

"Don't forget 'Wizard.'"

- ilikewc3

A Can-Do Attitude

"I’m finding a 'can-do attitude' to be problematic recently."

- chamomilky

The False Interview

"I agreed to a Zoom interview, showed up looking professional, and noticed eight other guys attending as well."

"The guy who called me said, 'Okay, guys, the presentation starts in 10 minutes; take notes because there will be questions at the end.'"

"I noped right out then and there."

- jimes00

"This happened to me once. They advertised for sales agents for home appliances."

"When I got there, it was a warehouse full of people who all thought they had a job interview, but it was a demonstration for one of those water companies. It was incredibly awkward."

- ishouldbefolding

"Anytime you enter a Zoom job interview,' and someone starts off with, 'Hello, everyone,' just disconnect immediately, because they are wasting your time."

- Effingehh

Signs of a High Turnover Rate

"'Urgently hiring multiple candidates.'"

- smurfsundermybed

"AKA: the entire last crew got p**sed and quit."

- miraculous-

To Be Determined

"'Salary to be discussed.'"

"Every single interview I've gone for that didn't disclose the salary upfront was severely underpaid."

- Mobile_Prune_3207

"When I was younger and recruiters reached out to me without a salary chat, I just took the interviews being naïve."

"Now I’ve learned the call doesn’t go any further until I know the salary band."

- toronto_programmer

Competitive for Whom?

"'Competitive wages.'"

- ACaffeinatedWandress

"Competitive pay means your pay will be competing against your bills."

- Random_Guy_47

A Fast-Paced Environment

"Fast-paced environment. That usually means absolute chaos with no one in charge."

- Spellflinger2019

"Translation: 'It’s so f**king busy and stressful that multiple people recently quit.'"

- md22mdrx

Team Player Culture

"'Work hard, play hard,' meaning, 'We’re all alcoholics.'"

- PaintedLady5519

"And even if they aren't alcoholics, they still schedule a lot of evening and weekend get-togethers that are unofficially mandatory."

- notthesedays

"And if you don't show up, you are 'not a team player.'"

- OldMork

Flexible Schedules

"And even if they aren't, they schedule a lot of evening and weekend get-togethers that are unofficially mandatory."

- missypierce

Degree and Pay Disagreement

"'Bachelor's degree required; starting pay $12.50 per hour.'"

- DeathSpiral321

A Variety of Factors

"A job listing written in all caps."

"A litany of technologies listed."

"'No job hoppers!'"

"If they ever suggest that you should care 'more about the work than compensation,' no, you shouldn't."

"'Some weekends' means, 'every weekend.'"

- template009

Start-Up Culture

"'Start-up culture,' means, 'a disorganized hot mess of egos."

- LeSmeg47

A Bubbly Personality

"Must have a bubbly personality."

"F**k off."

- silentwhim

"I wonder if this is code for, 'We want to hire an attractive young woman.'"

- beka13

"That's EXACTLY what that means."

- VivaLaCon88

"We're Family."

"'We are a family' companies expect you to be fine with getting underpaid and doing endless overtime because hey, they order food once in a while for the team, which is soo cool..."

- Zitson5150

From the Other Side of the Desk

"My job partially includes job placement. I went on a tour today with one of the higher-ups, and she used the word 'nightmare' several times to describe some things. Then she was complaining that they can’t get anyone to hire on or stay hired on, and that they had eight candidates file and get screened, and that day of, only two showed up."

"I wanted to ask so badly what they were paying, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to control my reaction, so I refrained."

"Then she complained later that people 'didn’t want to work, wanted to take days off during the middle of the week, and didn’t want to work over 40 hours.'"

"I was getting nauseous. I don’t want want to deal with that s**t, either, especially for half of my pay that I get now. Not to mention dealing with deadlines and back-breaking work."

"On top of that, they were b***hing about it from a nice office position. You don’t have to work in the factory with no climate control, lifting heavy s**t, or dealing with all the other countless bulls**t. You get to sit in a nice office and gossip with the other office people while making three times what those line workers get."

"I don’t know if I have the heart to place people in these positions."

- Jay-G

While we all need to make money and have a job in order to make that happen, we all deserve to have standards for our workplaces, just like the standards for how we are treated in our other relationships.

Though some of these characteristics have been on job listings for a long time, some of these tactics and phrases are pretty new and something to look out for, for those who haven't been job hunting for a while.