“Passionate”, “Motivated” & “Communication Skills” are the buzzwords used the most by UK job advertisers according to the latest research by job search website Adzuna.co.uk. The site reveals that over half of all jobs advertised in the UK in the last month have included one of these three terms and almost 90% of ads in the UK include at least one cliché from the top 10.


The survey analysed over 500,000 UK job ads in the month of March 2012 to highlight the top 10 overused buzzwords by British employers. In addition to revealing overused words such as “innovative”, “results-oriented” and “track record”, the analysis also shows a new wave of language being used by companies in the UK to lure in industry specialists and top talent.


There are currently 596 UK employers looking for “Gurus”, over 70 “Ninjas” in hot demand and even one employer looking for a “Jedi”. Tech giants Google, Apple and Facebook appear to be leading the charge on these new stylistic superlatives, with more than 100 job ads from these companies making our top 10 wacky list, while restaurant chain Nando’s only accepts candidates of “Legendary” status.


“Rockstars” and “Overlords” are paid on average £50,000 p.a, double average earnings, while “Superheros” and “Wizards” earn slightly more mortal salaries of £29 and £31k, much closer to the national average.


Accenture, The NHS and Sainsbury’s are the most jargon-tastic companies in the UK, with 95% of job ads from these companies including at least 4 of the top 10 most overused buzzwords.


The repeated use of generic, clichéd buzzwords reduces employers’ chances of finding top candidates and leads to ‘ad blindness’ amongst candidates who see every ad as the same. UK companies – and their HR professionals – could be doing much more to attract the brightest and most relevant candidates with more creative and better targeted job advertisements.


Doug Monro, Co-Founder of Adzuna, said “Because we list nearly every UK job ad in our search engine, we have a great overview of the language employers are using in their ads in the UK. It’s quite remarkable how many UK companies are determined to find the same thing:  ‘passionate, motivated, proactive communicators who are enthusiastic, organised and have a dynamic track record of creativity and innovation’. Advertisers who can strike a vein of originality with their prose can definitely stand out from the noise in such a competitive job market.”


The Official Top 10 Buzzwords in 2012


Buzzword Number of Jobs % of all UK jobs
Communication Skills 106,223 20%
Passionate 93,102 18%
Motivated 61,022 12%
Organised 40,154 8%
Track Record 36,290 7%
Innovative 30,709 6%
Dynamic 28,002 5%
Proactive 27,022 5%
Creative 23,434 5%
Enthusiastic 22,482 4%


The Top 10 Wackiest Buzzwords


Buzzword Number of jobs Average Salary
Guru 596 £45,860
Ninja 71 £44,237
Rockstar 67 £51,230
Super Hero 66 £29,090
Wizard 64 £31,858
Legend 23 £33,391
Supremo 8 £49,010
Boffin 4 £45,902
Overlord 1 £50,201
Jedi 1 £49,010