NOW HIRING

The art of the 50-character job posting

Hiring in Silicon Valley is tough. Everywhere engineers turn, there are the lures of six-figure salaries, catered meals, on-site massages, full-stocked bars, the opportunity to create something meaningful, the chance to strike it rich.

Tech companies are constantly battling each other for talent, selling themselves at every opportunity: billboards along the 101, a highway where tech workers sit in traffic; full-blown campaigns at commuter rail stations; tireless recruiters who try to convince the happily employed to leave their jobs, sometimes even through source code.

Job ads are important, too. Techmeme, a popular aggregator of the industry’s news, began running job ads in 2011. Advertisers saw the potential to capture the attention of the avid techies who frequent the site. But on Techmeme, companies are extremely limited in space—typically making a pitch within 50 characters.

This is where the art of brevity comes in handy. To see how companies sell themselves within these constraints, we combed through the Internet Archive to find cached pages of Techmeme, pulling available job ad copy from 2011 to the end of 2014.

Despite the space limitation, some companies managed to add a dash of humor:

Hulu: Come join our evil plot.
BuzzFeed: OMG LOL VIRAL JOBS!
Foursquare: everycheckinsavesakitten.com [no longer operating]

Others went for the straightforward or deadpan:

Lending Club: Java & Oracle engineers wanted.
Tumblr: Like websites? This is a website.

A few companies couldn’t help but default to gag-worthy descriptions:

Box: Everything is sexier in the cloud.
eBay: More than an app, it’s a lifestyle.
Facebook: Best place to build & make an impact.

And some tried way too hard to make their offices sound fun:

Twilio: Come run wild in our geek pasture!
@WalmartLabs: A thin line between work and play.
Zynga: It’s fun over here. Let’s play.

The full list of old ad copy we collected from the archives:

Airbnb: Build a galactic marketplace.

Amazon: Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

Ark: The search engine for your social life.

Ask.com: Want a new gig? You just have to ask.

Automattic: 17% down, 83% to go. WordPress.
18% down, 82% to go. WordPress.
19% down, 81% to go. WordPress.
20% down, 80% to go. WordPress.

Badgeville: Join the Leader in Gamification.

Box: Everything is sexier in the cloud.

Bunchball: The Innovation of Motivation.

BuzzFeed: OMG LOL VIRAL JOBS!

CBS Interactive: Get voted onto the island.
Have your people call our people.
Welcome to Mount Awesome.

@ClimateCorp: Big data tackles climate change.

CrunchBase: The free database of tech companies

Crushpath: Good natured ass kickers only.

Disqus: Build something worth talking about.
Join the Web’s Community of Communities.
Twice the opportunity. Half the BS.

DoubleDutch: Mobile like a fox.

eBay: More than an app, it’s a lifestyle.
We enable commerce.
Enable commerce through technology.
Our community; Your opportunity.

Facebook: Best place to build and make an impact.

foursquare: everycheckinsavesakitten.com

http://www.everycheckinsavesakitten.com
Making the real world easier to use.

Google: The end to your job search.
Do cool things that matter.

Heroku: Making developers’ lives awesome.

HP: Creating experiences for a connected world.

Hulu: Come join our evil plot.

imo: Awesome People. Awesome Products.
Want to make an impact? Let’s chat.

Lending Club: Java & Oracle engineers wanted.

LinkedIn: Connecting talent with opportunity.

Lore: Learn more.
Come learn. Made in New York.
Come learn.

Meebo: Eat. Drink. Innovate.

Microsoft: Come as you are. Do what you love.

Netflix: “There is no certainty, only opportunity”

Postmates: Get ship done.

Quora: Continually improving.
Unlock human knowledge.

Rackspace: Join the open cloud revolution!

Rhythm: We’ve got more cowbell—also, jobs.

Shape Security: Who let the bots out?

Softlayer: Innovators wanted. Join our team.

Square: Come simplify the complex.

StumbleUpon: Invent the future of web discovery.

Tagged: Innovate to create Social Discovery.

Techmeme: You might have heard of us…

Tumblr: Like websites? This is a website.

Twilio: Come run wild in our geek pasture!

Twitter: Less characters; more fulfilling.

Vlingo: Work with cool voice technology.

@WalmartLabs: Build the future of Commerce.
A thin line between work and play.

WeatherBill: Tackle climate change through tech.

Yammer: Changing the world by making work fun.
Making work social.
Changing how you work. Literally.

Zoosk: Fall in love. With your job.
Love (and a job) is all you need.

Zynga: It’s fun over here. Let’s play.

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