"How are your lightsaber skills?" asked a Facebook friend in a recent post complete with the above picture. "We're looking for Jedi of all sorts at Google... with open roles in UI/UX Design, Account Management, and Marketing!"
Reader: I was unqualified for the positions.
By now we've all seen such fanciful descriptors attached to jobs that might involve little to no use of "The Force." Especially in the tech sector, but elsewhere too, creative job titles like "Database Ninja" and "Systems Guru" have proliferated since at least 2012, when the Wall Street Journal noted that 469 job listings included the term "Jedi."
The appeal is obvious. Difficult jobs to describe, positions with vague responsibilities, or perhaps novel occupations all get inscrutable but exciting titles. It's just good marketing. Per a quick search of some listings, one finds that the company Avenue Code is seeking a "Java Jedi," which the listing clarifies is a "Service Platform Sr. Software Engineer." Yelp's Eat 24 is after a "Sales Executive / Quota Slayer." That doesn't involve LARPing as you might expect. Instead, they write, "If you look at cold calling and challenging sales goals the way Chuck Norris looks at a room full of ninja assassins, then we want you."
Nelson, a San Francisco-based residential and commercial properties firm, wants an "Excel Wizard" in their Administrative Assistant/Office Manager. And, a la the Subway "Sandwich Artist," San Francisco's Crêpe la Vie has a current listing for a "Crepe Jedi" who will do kitchen help.
High profile positions often come with their own particularly ridiculous names, such as David "Shingy" Shing, AOL's so-called Digital Prophet, who is seemingly paid for his Delphic, schizophrenic ramblings. That position and others like it were recently lampooned on HBO's Silicon Valley when a character was appointed to be a software company's "Head Dreamer."
Of course, there's also been a backlash to such hiring tactics. "You are not a 'ninja' or a 'rock star.'" writes deals website Sosh. "You’re merely an exemplary software engineer." That listing is for a "Geek of All Trades." In the same vein, the job search company Indeed writes that "buzzword" job titles are on the decline. They speculate that the reason is simple. It's better to place the "wizard" or "Vulcan" descriptor in the listing itself rather than in the job title for the purposes of searchability.
After all, who is Googling any and all "evangelist" positions? If you are, may The Force be with you.