What are the Biggest Red Flags in Job Postings?

What are the Biggest Red Flags in Job Postings?

If you’re searching for new employment, you might have noticed a few strange keywords that have been popping up recently. Recruiters are using terms like ‘Rockstar’, ‘Dedicated’, and ‘All-in’ to describe a hardworking individual that can get things done quickly and efficiently.

But these are really red flag terms or things that you want to stay away from. Why are they red flags, what do they mean, and why should you avoid them?

Here are our reasons.

‘Rock Star’

“We’re looking for a rock star to join our team!” One listing posted, oozing with enthusiasm through the screen. “A real go-getter that never knows when to quit, and doesn’t understand the meaning of impossible.”

Yeah, you’re going to want to avoid this job.

Unless you’re applying to be an actual rock star, most job listings with this term should set off warning signs. Rock star translated really means someone that works way too hard, is willing to pull crazy hours and doesn’t know when to leave the office.

That’s fine if you do that because you want to, or you’re working on a project you’re passionate about. But it causes burn out fast, and there is a very good chance you won’t be making a rock star salary.


If the job title contains multiple roles, avoid it! There’s a good chance that the ‘Bilingual Head of Sales/Translator’ position isn’t just managing a team, but translating everything that comes through the office, or handling all international sales, too.

You want one job, not four. If you’re able to help with extra projects because of your skills, that’s great – but if you get the feeling they are cramming multiple jobs into one position, you’re going to want to avoid that company. They won’t properly value your time or skills.

Massive Earning Potential

A big salary is great. And commission jobs really do exist, where you make a modest base salary and a huge sales commission. But let’s be honest, you know where to look for those if you qualify for that job!

If you see ‘earning potential’ in the salary description, you’re going to probably want to not send in your resume. This is a type of company that will dangle big bonuses and commissions in front of you like a carrot on a stick, but never really deliver them. Don’t buy into ‘potential’ or empty promises.

Bonus: ‘Up To’

Avoid salary descriptions that include ‘up to’ a certain amount as well. It’s the same principle with a different dress on, and you’re going to be spending a lot of time chasing that top-level salary that no one actually ever sees!

Flexibility is a Huge Selling Point

On one hand, yes, you absolutely want to work for a company that offers you flexibility. If you have an emergency and need to leave, you want your company to be okay with it.

But if flexibility is mentioned again… and again… and again… it is probably not a great thing. They’re looking for flexibility on your end, not theirs. It could mean any number of things, including long hours, weekends, and nights. But chances are, it isn’t that you can cut out early to attend a party or step away for a doctor’s appointment.

If you do fall into this trap, make sure you make hourly requirements and the meaning of ‘flexibility’ very clear when you are in your interview! Don’t let any surprises sneak up on you.