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In recent years, it’s become something of a trend for employers to use weird and wonderful job titles to add a little spice to their online listings while (hopefully) communicating something about company culture.
Some of the most creative job titles can be found at the executive level, if we are to go by all the Chief Troublemakers, Directors of Fun and Paranoid in Chiefs of this world. However, you can also find them elsewhere in the workforce. And while these job titles are usually sound fun — think “direct-mail demigod” (direct mail manager), “accounting ninja” (a more fun-sounding name for financial manager), or “chief chatter” (a call-center manager) — they can also be confusing.
The truth is, to stand the best chances of making the best-fit hire, you want to maximize your chances of discovery — and here weird job titles may work against you as few job seekers are searching for work as “wizards” or “ninjas.”
We’ll talk more about best practices later in this post. For now, let’s crunch some numbers and take a look at the state of weird and wacky job titles in 2018.
Identifying the most popular weird job titles today
We first identified the most common weird job titles in the US. Given the many wacky choices we have, we wanted to know which terms would rise to the top among all the jobs posted by recruiters online. This year, seven terms in particular rose to the top: genius, guru, hero, ninja, superhero, rockstar, and wizard.
“Ninja” is the comeback kid of 2018, as there was a 90% increase in “ninja” job titles between October of last year and October of this year. Ninjas are up 140% since we started tracking popular weird job titles in 2015 — which just goes to demonstrate the resilience of references to deadly assassins.
By contrast, last year’s winner, “rockstar,” didn’t fare as well. Following some dramatic ups and downs it ended this year with an overall growth in job postings but was only up by 17%.
We also see a slight uptick in “genius” jobs: 21% over the last year. But while geniuses are on the rise, heroes are on the decline — by 44%, to be exact. However, not all heroes are doing poorly. In fact, job titles containing the term “superhero” rose by 19% in the period under study (but have decreased overall by 55% since 2015, despite the ongoing success of blockbuster movies featuring super-powered saviors).
There is also a decline in magic: searches for job titles containing the term “wizard” were down by 17%. Are magic-themed job titles doomed to extinction? Only time will tell.
Where the wild job titles are
Next, we decided to take a look at the geography of weird job titles, looking at which states have the largest share of employers hunting for ninjas, gurus, wizards and so on. What did we find? Last year weird job titles were flourishing away from big states such as California, Texas and New York, but this year California claims the crown as king of the wild and woolly. Texas and Florida also performed strongly, and while New York “kept it real” last year and didn’t…