"Ridiculous" is by far a subjective description of a job title -- after all, if you make money doing it (whatever "it" may be), how ridiculous can it really be? Of course, there are instances where employers try to fluff up a title without tacking on the extra salary to go along with such lofty titles. "Office superstar" might sound a little more interesting than "office specialist 2", but if it's the same pay for the same tasks, what's really in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet and a job by any other title would be the same daily grind.
That being said, there have been some real whoppers posted on job sites. Were the managers trying to stand out, lure in some more interesting candidates, or did a creative writer simply get charged with drafting job descriptions? For better or worse, here are some of the weirdest, strangest, most obnoxious, or just plain ridiculous real job titles in recent years:
Is it any wonder that such a geek-heavy industry would add "overlord" to the title? This was the job title for a company looking to hire a webmaster. However, it likely caught the interest of a few skilled geeks who might just be a great fit for this company's culture. It's an example of a ridiculous job title that actually works -- and who wouldn't want that on their resume?
This was the title for a counselor position which, depending on any degrees or licensing required, kind of downplays what a crucial and serious position this is. You probably didn't go to six (or more) years of schooling and undertake countless practicum hours to be a "Problem Wrangler." Of course, it it's a job that requires no formal training and you're basically babysitting in a daycare with a loftier title, this could work.
Separation of church and state? Try separation of church and business (unless of course your business really is based in religion). This was the attempt at creativity for a marketing brand manager. Even if it's all in fun, you might drive away non-evangelists or anyone who doesn't want to work for a religious organization -- some words just pop out at you, and not always in a good way when you're hiring.
This could go one of two ways: Do you think it's someone who's in charge of a corporation and can metaphorically "work their magic" or is it an actual magician who serves the corporate market? It's actually the latter -- this was a job title for a magician to perform at trade shows. What separates a tradeshow or corporate magician from other kinds of magicians, one can only wonder. However, they likely need to have experience catering to a professional crowd (which means keeping the cruder tricks to a minimum).
Recently there was a very genuine ad posting for a legal ninja, but you can toss the word "ninja" onto the end of just about anything job -- but that's not going to make it exciting. If you're a lawyer or paralegal, you already know how badass your job can be and are great at what you do every day (no black mask required). If you're not, tacking "ninja" onto such a title probably isn't going to make you race out and sign up for law school. It's an attempt to be fun, but it comes across as lame.
Another title for call center manager, you actually do a lot more listening as a manager than you do chatting. However, it's not going to fool any applicants for long (or any hiring managers if this is on your resume). Call a spade a spade and avoid the embarrassing explanation of why there's a pig in lipstick around.
Colour distribution technician
Note the "u" in "colour" -- maybe only those across the pond would come up with such a fanciful title for what's actually a painter. Yes, you're technically distributing color across something (like a wall), but what's the purpose of this title? The hiring manager (probably) wanted to hire an experienced painter and customers looking for a painter aren't going to Google "colour distribution technician."
Wet leisure attendant
Get your mind out of the gutter, because this job doesn't take place on an adult film set. It's simply a longer way of saying lifeguard. This is particularly interesting since lifeguards who are certified have varying levels of training and expertise, so they're likely seeking out jobs that have "lifeguard" in the title as well as any additional certifications they may hold. The bigger question is what does it say on the back of your uniform --"wet leisure attendant?"
Assuming you're not lactose intolerant, this is a dream job for many and it's exactly what it sounds like. While there may be a job in a plant such as the cracker facility that presses processed cheese between buttery goodness, this job was actually listed for a movie theater. You're not a concession stand worker -- you're a cheese sprayer. Your sole job is to spray cheese or butter on the popcorn.
Again, this isn't in the adult film industry (thankfully since at this point we might be getting into bestiality territory). It's another job that's actually exactly what it sounds like: You're the person who checks the sex of chickens. Most likely at a massive chicken farm, only female chicks are valuable since they produce both meat and eggs (and won't grow up into territorial roosters). After all, you only need one rooster per farm.
Chief biscuit dunker
Very large corporations that manufacture staples like biscuits have flawless Q&A processes. It might sound ridiculous, but dunking biscuits in proprietary ingredients to ensure quality and even distribution is a big deal. Unfortunately "taster" isn't also part of this job description, otherwise it would be the dream job of many.
Love oysters? Then this job might just be for you. It's another literal job title where you're charged with floating oysters in water to make sure they become free of impurities. It requires great attention to detail, dexterity, and swift movements. While it wasn't addressed in the job description, you can always ask about discounted oysters when it comes to the negotiating stage. Do what you love, right?
Patron saint of academic studying
There's that touch of religion slipped in again. Another term for a tutor, in these instances it's better to simply state what you're hiring for -- if someone needs a tutor, no amount of fun job titles is going to make the task better or more enjoyable. Stick with simplicity in certain areas, including education, lest you lead your students farther astray.
Job titles can certainly be creative, but there's a limit and a fine line between unique and outrageous. Are you on the right side of the job title fence?
Anna Johansson is a freelance writer.
On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
"Chimpanzee dressed in suit with cigarette" image via Shutterstock.