James Innes-Smith

How to apply for a post-truth position

  • From Spectator Life

Anyone over the age of 35 would be advised to hire a translator before rifling through the jobs section of the Guardian.

Looking for a role in education? You will need a first in doublespeak just to understand what it is you are applying for. When I clicked on a listing for an ‘Infrastructure Support Officer’ – not something I do very often admittedly – I was assailed by a tsunami of ‘comprehensive, personalised, integrated, safeguarding of frameworks and best practices’ masquerading as a ‘vibrant and cooperative environment in which to work.’ Having read the listing several times I am still no wiser as to what sort of infrastructure I would be supporting or why I’d need to be paid £75,000 a year for the privilege.

I can’t work out whether the obfuscation in these listings is deliberate or just good, old-fashioned idiocy. Whoever writes this guff, and I’m assuming it’s the same person because it all sounds the same, is so mired in corporate speak that they seem incapable of composing sentences that convey a semblance of meaning. You would think a university of all places would insist on lucidity around matters of employment but read any recruitment listing for educational staff and chances are you’ll be tearing your eyeballs out in despair.

Some positions are so devoid of substance that the ad simply reiterates the title in ever more mangled ways. Take this gem for Head of Wellbeing at the Fashion Retail Academy, a listing that sounds as though it’s been penned by a short circuiting android: ‘The Head of Wellbeing will be responsible for the provision of a comprehensive, inclusive, personalised and integrated student, learning and wellbeing support service that includes, but is not limited to, wellbeing, counselling, coaching, additional learning support, and safeguarding.’

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