Looking for a job? Fresno bosses want ‘independent thinkers.’ Here’s what else employers want

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California’s web site for applying for state jobs – – has been redesigned to guide applicants through the hiring process.
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California’s web site for applying for state jobs – – has been redesigned to guide applicants through the hiring process.

Fresno employers seem to think alike, at least when it comes to wanting to hire independent thinkers.

That’s what British job posting aggregator AdView found in an analysis of the most-used jargon terms in American help-wanted ads.

The phrase “independent thinker” was used nearly three times as often by Fresno help-wanted ads than it was elsewhere in America.

Fresno isn’t the only city with some unimaginative hiring professionals.

The real magic is happening in Bakersfield. At least, according to area employers, who are really keen (2.3 times as likely) on finding a “wizard.”

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, bosses are seeking a “paradigm shift,” and they are nearly three times more likely to use that term in their job ads.

Los Angeles might be home to the movie industry, but employers there are short on imagination. They used the term “all-rounder” nearly nine times as often as employers from other areas.

The Bay Area is really looking for “doers” (Oakland, 5.2 times the average) and the skill for “blue sky thinking” (San Francisco, a whopping 36.2 times more than the average). They must be hoping to “incentivise” people to move there (San Jose, 5.6 times the average).

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“Incentivise” also is popular in Stockton (3.2 times the average).

Looking for a fun workplace environment? San Diego job postings frequently use the words “Nerf guns,” while in Irvine “ping pong” is big with employers.

Southern California really loves “rockstars”; Chula Vista and Long Beach employers were at least three times as likely to seek that qualification from prospective job hunters.

Other terms that saw frequent use among American employers include “win-win,” “ground breaking,” “plan of action” and “touch base.”

A word of caution for people looking for work in Lexington, Kentucky, or Jacksonville, Florida: Employers there are really into “pain-points.” That particular turn of phrase was three times more common in Lexington and 1.4 times more common in Jacksonville.

You can search for the most common word in job posting in other areas, and also compare word usage between cities, by visiting

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.