Buzzword Job Titles Are on the Decline

Job postings that include the terms “ninja,” “rockstar,” “jedi,” “guru” or “wizard” are on the decline.

In Silicon Valley and beyond, the search for employees with specialized technical expertise has been a driving force behind job title trends in recent years. Many companies sought out top-notch workers by labeling them “gurus,” “ninjas,” and even “wizards.”

While these job titles were popular for years, it appears they are now on a downward trend. From their peak in late 2012 to the end of 2014, the share of job postings with buzzword job titles including the terms “ninja,” “rockstar,” “jedi,” “guru” or “wizard” declined by nearly 40%.

These job titles aren’t always optimized for search, which may explain why they are losing popularity. The best candidates are looking for specific descriptions of what they’ll be doing in a job. At the same time, buzzwords can be alienating to some candidates, unintentionally narrowing the applicant pool and causing it to be less diverse. It can be hard to know if one is qualified to be a Software Engineering Ninja. Instead, job seekers are better able to assess their readiness for a Senior Software Engineer role, and apply to the job that matches with their actual level of experience as a result.

Job trends can shift quickly and new buzzwords are always emerging. As some terms decline, we may see others on the rise. Regardless of these industry trends, however, the most effective job titles are always those that are based on the real terms job seekers are using.

To learn more about how Indeed can help you optimize your job titles to reach qualified candidates, contact us.