F-Bombs in Job Postings: Tacky or Cool?

F-Bombs in Job Postings: Tacky or Cool?

by Kerry Scott on 3 June 2009

2405178520_628884865bPhoto by Rick

Ever since I set up my nifty RSS feed of Craigslist stuff, I get to see all the good stuff that shows up in my local Craigslist job postings—even the postings that get flagged for removal right away.  Every scam, every ad for porn actors…I see it all.  It’s very entertaining.

So there I was, wading through all those ho-hum scam postings, when I came upon the following:

Can you defeat a yeti in hand to hand combat? (Bristol Renaissance Faire)

If so, you should skip this ad and find a more glamorous, exciting job.

BUT IF THAT YETI WOULD TROUNCE YOU:

This summer, the Bristol Renaissance Faire Safety and Security team is hiring. Stop. If you’re about to click the back button because you’re not a burly Army Ranger with a black belt and rippling abs, you might be just the sort of person we’re looking for. This isn’t a standard security job, and we’re not looking for standard security types. You won’t be a bouncer or anything like that – you handle the issues you’re comfortable with, and call for backup if a situation looks like it might escalate beyond the level of customer service.

If you’re friendly, hard-working, alert, 21 or older, and you enjoy working with the public, problem solving, thinking on your feet, and working outdoors, then you need to email me now. You’ll also get bonus points for being able to commit to the entire season (weekends, July 11 through Labor Day), being FUN, familiarity with the faire site, Jedi powers (light side preferred, but if you can force-choke a motherfucker, that’s awesome), being good with kids, and previous medical, security, law enforcement or military experience.

Join us! You’ll be amazed at how cool it is to go to work because you want to, and then have a paycheck as a bonus.

A few minutes later, the post had been flagged as inappropriate and been removed.  It’s been re-posted, re-flagged, and re-removed at least a couple of times since then.  This is a real, well-known employer here in the summer, so it’s definitely not a scam or anything like that.  I’m pretty sure it’s a real job.  I think it’s the tone and the profanity that’s causing someone to flag it (well, and the fact that there’s someone in Milwaukee who flags just about every posting in certain categories on Craigslist, and then posts angry rebuttals to each ad.  It’s wacky.)

Now, personally, I like funky ads.  I wouldn’t use an f-bomb in an job posting, but overall, I like ads that tell me the employer has a sense of humor.  As a candidate, I’d be attracted to one like this, because I think it’s unlikely that they’re a stuffy group.  I hate stuffy, so that’s a plus for me.

On the other hand, I sent this to a friend the day it appeared, and she was appalled.  She thought the whole thing was unprofessional (even aside from the profanity).  She said she would never apply to a job with a posting like this.

So I’m curious.  Are you more attracted to ads that are professional and serious, with complete job descriptions and lists of requirements?  Or are you drawn to the funky ones?  Do you think this ad is offensive (even without the f-bomb)?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian June 3, 2009 at 8:41 am

Loved it. Sure, if they had been looking for a Finance Director this would have been the wrong approach. But it seems to fit the position and employer pretty well. Someone who is put off by the ad is probably not a good fit in the first place, so win-win.

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Dustin June 3, 2009 at 8:43 am

I think the context needs to be taken into consideration. The ad here? Hilarious. An ad for a secretary with an f-bomb thrown in at the end (or, really, anywhere), not so much.

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HRPufnstuf June 3, 2009 at 8:44 am

I like it! A security job is a security job, but this speaks to the culture and will appeal to people that embrace that culture. I do however encourage them to stick strictly with the light side of the force…the dark side is trouble.

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Sabrina June 3, 2009 at 9:34 am

I love it. But then again I grew up going to the Bristol Ren Faire and until a year ago lived 5 miles right down the road from it. (Good old Antioch, IL) So I *know* their sense of humor. I have a friend who used to work there even. That’s how they work. If I still lived there and I was interested in doing security, I would apply for that job. And if I find a secretary posting near where I am with an f-bomb in it like that, I’m definitely applying.

Sabrina’s last blog post..Things I Don’t Miss About Chicago

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Robert LaGow June 3, 2009 at 9:56 am

It’s a Renaissance Faire. ’nuff said.

Robert LaGow’s last blog post..Tweet-Up #SHRM09 with Jack?

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Lace June 3, 2009 at 10:30 am

I think it speaks to culture and I love it. I was seriously considering moving just to work security (and hopefully learn some Jedi Mindtrick powers) for a second.
Now if that job was advertising for HRVP, well, even funnier. But then, maybe that’s me. I’d STILL wanna work there. I’m beginning to feel that “professional” is vastly overrated sometimes.

Lace’s last blog post..Heaven

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ColorMySky June 3, 2009 at 11:35 am

I am in agreement with you in that I enjoy seeing a quirky ad because, as you noted, it proves the employer is personable and has a sense of humor. I feel those who don’t enjoy these ads are weeded out since they most likely wouldn’t be a proper fit for the culture. Those who find quirky ads “unprofessional” most likely belong in tight-tie, conservative environments or at least feel that is how a business should conduct itself (and there is nothing wrong with that). Certainly things aren’t so black and white, and business departments adapt to their line of work and the culture their industry or line of business induces.

One other quick point is that businesses consistently list jobs that tell allllll about the role, yet everytime I’ve been hired the role has turned out to be quite different than the impression I was given; so why not appeal to people in a new and creative way? Further, it really aids a posted position to stand out if they use humor or unique posting tactics….like talk of Yetis.

ColorMySky’s last blog post..Grain Sunset ℵ f/22 | 1/20s | iso200

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lloyddabbler June 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I’d wrestle this job like a mothereffer! :)

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abdpbt June 3, 2009 at 6:06 pm

If they’re done well, I like funky ads. But it’s a fine line, because sometimes people think they’re being witty and they’re really just being stupid. I like this ad, and for the employer (Renaissance Faires always involve bawdy humor) and the job (it’s not like the position is for a tenured professor in classics) it seems appropriate to me. But I think that Wisconsin is probably a very different market from what I’m living in.

abdpbt’s last blog post..Heavy Breathing And Secondary Embarrassment

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Craigslist Proxy June 3, 2009 at 7:48 pm

I do not post too much, but this was worth the read. Craigslist delivers in many different ways. I read a post on some site about a guy who wanted to buy a car for his gf, and he came across an ad with Hitler hidden text… Very odd. Only on Craigslist I guess.

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Rose June 9, 2009 at 7:21 am

For the most part I really like ads with a fun tone. The more details about the job conveyed in the ad, the better I feel about applying to it, and had this job been for a position other than security (and had I lived anywhere near there), I would consider applying to a job at a Ren Faire that was written like this ad.

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