We’re always excited to share new job openings in the movement space on our Opportunity Board.  Our curated collection of listings come from a broad collection of organizations across the country and reflect the diversity of the sector.  When we were first getting started, we only listed opportunities that we knew about directly, but as Movement Talent has grown, so has the interest in our Opportunity Board.  In order to help organizations understand if their positions are a fit for our audiences, we created a comprehensive set of submission guidelines.

Among other features, jobs submitted for consideration must contain salary range and location information (including if fully remote), and we make clear that we especially welcome positions that support the growth of movement professionals, particularly people of color and people in the middle of their careers.  We try to keep these guidelines clear and concise, and if a position is nearly aligned but is missing one or two components, we share that feedback with submitters. Nine times out of ten they make the adjustment and are welcoming of our input on what we believe makes for a compelling and effective job description.

How did we arrive at our list of guidelines?  Partially by keeping tabs of what not to write in a job description.  These “red flags” are sometimes obvious, but sometimes not, so we’re sharing in this post a list of some of the things that every job searcher should keep an eye out for as they’re applying for a new position:

  • “Wear a lot of hats”For many early stage and growing organizations, it may indeed be a reality that staff members will need to contribute in a multiplicity of ways. As long as these expectations are well communicated, “multiple hats” may be a positive way for team members to expand their skill sets and explore various aspects of the work.  However, in more established organizations, this language may signal that there aren’t well-defined boundaries and expectations for a given this role.
  • “Must be a team player” – The key word here is must. Effective teamwork can be a positive aspect of any workplace, but when it’s required – especially if no training or support is given to help teams succeed – then there could be reason for concern.  This language may also signal that conformity is valued above all, and that the environment doesn’t support constructive criticism of authority. 
  • “Competitive salary” or no mention of the salary at all – This phrase may signal that the salary is low given what’s expected for that position, or that the organization has not done any sort of compensation analysis.  We always recommend that organizations list the salary range and benefits as clearly as possible.  Doing so saves time and effort for both applicants and hiring managers.
  • Ill-defined working hours and/or expectations of availability – This is pretty straightforward, but more important than ever given the increased nature of fully remote and hybrid positions, plus teams that span multiple time zones.
  • Extremely long list of “required” skills – There are certainly skills, softwares, certifications, etc. that are necessary for some positions.  However, if the list of “required” skills is longer than any other set of bullet points in the job description, the organization may be signaling that a position leaves little room for individual contributions or opportunities to apply alternative skills to that role.  

These red flags are more than just poor word choice. They reflect crucial and consistent feedback we get from applicants about things they learn in the interview process that run counter to a job description.  The good news is that the movement space is taking the lead in addressing these concerns, as organizations seek to create (or recreate) positions that are well-defined and create opportunities for growth for team members.  We applaud these efforts and are excited to continue to work with job seekers and hiring managers to bring more clarity and transparency to the hiring process. If you’re responsible for talent acquisition at your workplace, we invite you to check out our Opportunity Board for examples of compelling position descriptions at a diverse range of movement organizations.