These days, employers don't want employees. They want Jedis, ninjas, badasses.
The number of listings including the word “badass,” for example, has increased by 2,000 percent on the site since 2006, NJ.com reports. That's nothing compared to "ninja," the use of which has exploded by 7,000 percent. Then there's just “rock star," with which, let's just say, neither term can compete.
So what gives? It seems that in the fierce competition for top-level programming talent, technology companies hope a fun job description will help give them the edge.
“It’s a way to stand out,” Eric Gaydos, associate marketing manager at The Resumator, told NJ.com. “There is so much demand for the people who are good that this is more of a way to say ‘this is the best place to do that job.’”
Oddly, despite some tech jobs ranking among the best available, many companies say they can't find the talent. Take IT professionals, or IT Pro Evangelists as they're called at Microsoft. Those jobs are among those with the greatest talent shortages, according to a recent report by workforce solutions company ManpowerGroup.
But it’s not just tech companies that know how to have fun with a job description. Titles like “guru,” “extraordinaire” and others have been appearing on business cards for years, according to business card creator MOO.com. Just look at Honest Tea's “TeaEO," the Matrix group's “Chief Trouble Maker" and the Google's very own “Intergalactic Federation King Almighty and Commander of the Universe."
If it all sounds a bit much, that's because it is. Since a job title can be “a projection of you as a person,” language professor Frank Nuessel told The Boston Globe, “a pompous job title, [is] going to go with you.’’ So next time, maybe lay off the King Almighty or whatever.
The less mature of us <a href="http://www.examiner.com/life-the-cubicle-in-national/erection-engineer-awarded-worst-job-title-of-2010" target="_hplink">might chuckle</a> at a job title like "Erection Engineer," but the duties of a person who occupies this position are no laughing matter. Erection engineers are deeply involved with the technology, mechanics, and management of erecting structures such as <a href="http://jobview.monster.com/Mechanical-Engineer-Erection-Registered-Contractor-Job-Maricopa-AZ-106576227.aspx" target="_hplink">solar power plants</a> and <a href="http://search.clickjobs.com/jobs/preview/852237/engineer-steel-structure-erection.html" target="_hplink">large steel formations</a>.
In addition to being Chief Marketing Officer, <a href="http://www.rovio.com/en/about-us/management-team" target="_hplink">Peter Vesterbacka of Rovio</a> -- the creator of popular game Angry Birds -- has proclaimed himself to be the "Mighty Eagle." Well, when you help head up a company that's as successful and <a href="http://www.insidesocialgames.com/2012/04/04/angry-birds-continues-leading-fastest-growing-facebook-games-by-dau/" target="_hplink">fast-growing</a> as Rovio, you might as well give yourself a unique title like this one.
Chief Trouble Maker
<a href="http://www.matrixgroup.net/why-matrix-group/leadership/?fa=joanna-pineda" target="_hplink">Joanna Pineda</a>, the CEO of interactive web design and development company <a href="http://www.matrixgroup.net/" target="_hplink">Matrix Group</a>, is another head honcho who gave herself an additional title: "Chief Trouble Maker." [via <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2006/11/01/leadership-jobs-careers-lead-managing-cx_tw_1101titles.html" target="_hplink"><em>Forbes</em></a>]
Swiss Army Knife
Seems like Matrix Group has a thing for interesting job titles. The company has an open <a href="http://www.matrixgroup.net/careers/current-openings/?fa=show-job&id=126" target="_hplink">"Swiss Army Knife" position</a>, which, apparently, is a cool secondary name for a regular web programmer.
You know those friendly Apple employees who help you out at the Genius Bar whenever one of your devices isn't working properly? They're the ones who give the Genius Bar its name; their official job title is "<a href="http://jobs.apple.com/index.ajs?BID=2&method=mHvexternal.showPositionDetails&PID=51" target="_hplink">Genius</a>."
Social Media Rockstar
In the past few years, social media has become a huge part of the tech world, and, as a result, many a social media-related job has popped up at various companies. While titles for these positions vary, a favorite of ours is "Social Media Rockstar." <a href="http://tomoatmeal.com/" target="_hplink">Blogger Tom Oatmeal</a> <a href="http://slacktory.com/2011/07/im-a-social-media-rockstar/" target="_hplink">claims to hold this unusual title</a> at an unnamed "New Media Marketing company."
Kingpin of Financial Trading And Technology Solutions
Being a kingpin of anything is awesome in itself, but have the actual word "kingpin" in your job title is even better. Whoever scores this open position at CFN Services (check out the listing <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/jobs?viewJob=&jobId=2789258&srchIndex=16&trk=njsrch_hits&goback=%2Efjs_technology_*1_*1_I_us_*1_50_1_R_true_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2" target="_hplink">here</a>) will be someone well-versed in securities trading, technology, and business development. As for making offers you can't refuse, that's not in the job description.
IT Pro Evangelist
While this <a href="https://careers.microsoft.com/jobdetails.aspx?jid=78104" target="_hplink">open IT Pro Evangelist position</a> at Microsoft requires one to have a way with words and a deep understanding of everything IT, thankfully, it doesn't seem like there's any actual preaching involved.
Director Of Intrusion Detection
A <a href="https://careers.microsoft.com/jobdetails.aspx?ss=&pg=6&so=&rw=80&jid=70968&jlang=EN" target="_hplink">Director of Intrusion Detection</a> isn't in charge of investigating alleged break-ins or making sure your house's security system is okay. In the tech world, one holding this title is actually <a href="https://careers.microsoft.com/jobdetails.aspx?ss=&pg=6&so=&rw=80&jid=70968&jlang=EN" target="_hplink">in charge of <em>virtual</em> security</a>, which includes protecting intellectual property and other forms of digital data.
Director Of Storytelling
The job title "Director of Storytelling" may sound like a joke, but there a few people who do have it. <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/b/stevecla01/" target="_hplink">Steve Clayton</a>, for example, holds that position at Micorosft and helps publicize the company's upcoming projects via the <a href="http://blogs.technet.com/b/next/" target="_hplink">Next at Microsoft blog</a>. [via <a href="http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/pf/jobs/1101/gallery.best_companies_craziest_jobs.fortune/jump.html" target="_hplink"><em>MoneyCNN</em></a>]
Maybe it's the word "combat" that makes a title like "Combat Designer" seem so tough -- but even if those in this position aren't actually physically intimidating, they do seem to have quite an interesting job. A <a href="http://playstation.taleo.net/careersection/sceaexternal1/jobdetail.ftl" target="_hplink">Senior Combat Designer at PlayStation</a>, for example, assists and collaborates with other game designers to create characters, work on special effects and sound effects, layout gameplay scenarios, and more.
<a href="http://education-portal.com/articles/Mask_Designer_Job_Description_Duties_and_Requirements.html" target="_hplink">"Mask Designer"</a> can definitely be a misleading job title -- someone in the tech field who holds this position consults with clients to design and create templates (rather than costume masks) for electronic components like circuit boards.
Ruby On Rails Web Developer
To an average person, a title like <a href="http://www.simplyhired.com/job-id/vwbcz63f4n/senior-ruby-jobs/" target="_hplink">"Ruby on Rails Web Developer"</a> can sound silly and be a bit puzzling. What "<a href="http://rubyonrails.org/" target="_hplink">Ruby on Rails</a>" refers to is an "open-source web framework" that allows for easier programming and coding.
Top IT Jobs in the US
Brian Alden discusses the best IT jobs of the year and the experience required.