A few recent job listings were notable in contrast to each other and might be fun to talk about.
The first series of posts were from a company looking for ‘Senior,’ ‘Advanced,’ and ‘Principal’ Tech Artists.
The ‘Advanced’ and ‘Principal’ roles differed in a few domain-specific details and years of experience required (10 and 12, resp.), but otherwise contained the same text with some eyebrow-raising word choices, namely:
- “Unsurpassed understanding of the content creation pipeline …”
- “Able to carry out the most complex tasks and produce work with an unsurpassed level of quality …”
- “… expert with all relevant art and animation software suites. Demonstrates unsurpassed understanding …”
- “Maintains an unparalleled understanding of existing proprietary software …”
- “Incomparable knowledge of applicable game engine and how it processes, blends and renders animations.”[sic]
- “Develops the most complex models and systems …”
OK, so they clearly want someone highly skilled, nothing wrong with that, but who is going to walk in there and say,
“There is no other person whose knowledge can compare to mine!”
No one résumés like Gaston!
That would be someone who is literally ‘incomparable’ or ‘unparalleled.’ I mean, that person might exist, but those words gave me a chuckle. The slightly lower bar of ‘unsurpassed’ would merely mean that while they may be equaled, nobody is better than them. The ‘Senior’ TA post had more common terms like, ‘strong,’ ‘experience with,’ ‘proficient,’ but there was stil an ‘unsurpassed’ and ‘unparalleled’ in there. That one asked for 6 years of experience.
A few weeks later, I read a listing for a ‘Senior’ TA from a different company which was striking in contrast, using words like, ‘advanced knowledge’, ‘experience’ and a few requests for ‘basic understanding.’ Most crucially, at the end of the listing they said, “This is a tall order - but we know you’re out there!” - a humble note that brought this post into sharp relief against my memory of the earlier listings.
The geneaology of a job listing will vary between studios, of course, but I can’t help but read into the difference in tone between these company’s listings and think they might hint at differences in company culture/values and what it might be like to work at each one. In this particular example, one thing I could speculate is that the level of hyperbole tracks with the relative level of ‘corporate-ness,’ shall we say, in the two companies. That’s a coarse guess based on my small knowledge of the two, and not a judgement, per-se.
Has anyone here had any notable ‘read between the lines’ experiences related to job listings or employment communication?
What, if anything, might a job listing’s wording tell you about an employer?
How does a word like ‘incomparable’ get into a listing?
While an applicant should be respectful of listed requirements and Read The Damn Ad, how much might some over-statement aid the employer (in a filtering or aspirational capacity) versus potentially hindering them?