We’ve all seen them. Those tired, empty phrases that litter recruitment ads. As a professional copywriter for nearly a decade, I’ve come across my fair share. Heck, I’ve even contributed to the mess. But I’m putting those days behind me, and I want to help you do the same. So let’s take a look at some overused phrases in recruitment ads we’ve run into the ground and explore ways to stop using them.… together.

Dedicated to Excellence
Any company can claim a dedication to excellence. That part’s easy. But can you prove it? Maybe your hospital recently achieved Magnet status. Or perhaps your business is consistently recognized as an outstanding place to work. Whatever it is, it needs to show candidates that your company actually strives for and even achieves excellence.

Make the Most of Your Career/Talents
Again, we have to show, not tell. Demonstrate how your organization helps employees make the most of their careers/talents, whether it’s through tuition reimbursement, career ladders, access to experienced mentors, etc. Keep in mind that you’ll need a mixture of communications (e.g., web pages, brochures, job postings) to fully explain an abstract concept like career growth. It’s worth the investment though, because it helps candidates envision a future with your company in both the short and long term.

Cutting-Edge (or any variation of it)
I hate to tell you this, but there are very few entities in the world that can truly claim to be on the cutting edge of anything (Google comes to mind). Almost everything under the sun has been done at this point. So unless your organization is the first and/or only to do something, no one’s going to care. A better approach is focusing on the human aspect of your company culture – teamwork, kindness, respect and the like. People and personalities are what shape the environment of your workplace most of all anyways. And when effectively promoted, they can influence others to apply.

Responsibilities Include
Let me be clear: there’s really nothing wrong with this phrase when used correctly. This is more about a certain way writers sometimes talk about responsibilities. I’m referring to the dreaded laundry list of duties seemingly plucked directly from original job descriptions provided by HR departments. Nobody wants to read a big block of text that’s technically one long sentence smitten with semicolons. Take some time to understand the position before you start writing. Once you get a grasp of it, craft a concise and compelling summary that sells the opportunity while weeding out those unfit for the role. Then, follow up with key details that are most likely to interest the target audience (space permitting, of course).

Apply Now/Today

Quite possibly the tritest of them all. Let’s be honest, it’s boring. On the other hand, phrases like “start your life-changing journey” and “explore the promising future ahead” are much more enticing. Sure, sometimes you only have room for a couple of words. But even “join us” is better than “apply now/today.” Don’t be afraid to mix it up and seize every opportunity to better sell the position(s). After all, that’s why we make recruitment ads in the first place.

What phrases would you like to see less? Let us know at conversations@jwt.com.

J. Walter Thompson INSIDE is a full-service recruitment advertising agency and employer branding consulting firm, creating pioneering ideas in strategic recruitment, human resource development and management, and more.