I’ve spent the last 18 years as a professional software developer. I’ve had loads of jobs, both as a ‘permie’ and as a freelancer/contractor. I reckon I must have read over a thousand job ads which I’ve looked into, that is I’d had more information about the job from sources other than the advert or the agency that published it.  I’ve learned one thing: to read between the lines.  IT recruiters speak a different language to us,  a language rich with subtlety and innuendo, a language which might seem simple at first but hides deeper meaning. As a service to the community I now present a handy translator from IT-recruiter-ish to common English. Make sure you look it up next time you see the job-advert of your dreams. 

They say They mean
An exciting opportunity has come up Exciting for us as the commission is huge; for you not so much
You'll be working in a dynamic environment You'll be working all hours under the sun while requirements constantly change and managers run around like headless chickens
An environment that rewards achievers unless you work 80-hour weeks you get no bonus
A work-hard, play-hard ethos You''ll be treated like a galley slave by a bunch of imbeciles who think drinking a jug of vodka every night is 'playing hard'
Our client is a leader in their field Our client think they're a leader in their field
A company with a high public profile The local paper once had a two-column article about them
You will be encouraged to take ownership of your own projects Success is shared, failure is all yours
A rapidly expanding company Part of their annual cycle of firing & re-hiring
Salary is competitive ...if you're an a 18-year old intern looking for a summer job. And it's 1982.
Huge career progression opportunities Layoffs planned in 2 months
They're using tried and tested, enterprise-level technologies They're using Java EE
You'll be working on a complex, highly-configurable system They're using Java EE
You'll ocassionally need to address issues raised on the legacy system They're using Java EE
A company driven by results Forget about Test-Driven Development
Development is centred around customer-focused delivery Cucumber is out of the question too
A high-quality environment But there will be loads of MS-Word-based documents
The company is currently transitioning from a waterfall methodology to Agile They don't know what Agile is but they know it's meant to be good
It really doesn`t get much better than this. It can get much better than this, but you'll never know it if you apply for this position.
Send your CV in now so you don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!

PS: this is work in progress. If there’s something I missed feel free to comment here and I’ll add it to the list.