Personal qualities of applicants in job advertisements: axiological and lexical analysis of samples in English from the Spanish press

  • Ángel Felices Lago University of Granada
  • Elaine Hewitt University of Granada
Keywords: Axiology, job advertisements, advertising, business language, discourse analysis, lexical analysis


Previous axiological analyses in the area of business language and terminology (brand names, financial and investment terms, etc.) have already proved the complex relations among values and their hierarchical and scalar relations. However, in this paper we intend to map out the dominant values in the area of job advertisements from a different perspective: It is very common for multinational companies operating in Spain to insert advertisements in English in the Spanish press for job seekers. The percentage of English ads could be as high as 10% of the total number of advertisements. In these, each company refers to its main fields of activity, the type of degree holders they need, the skills required, the opportunities offered and how the selection process is arranged. Obviously, a special mention is made of the highly valued personal qualities of potential job applicants. Therefore, in this study we analyse the qualities and values explicitly requested in specific job advertisements, the way in which they are introduced (syntactically and semantically) and their relationship with the general classifications of values codified in language and collected by axiologists, linguists and publicists. To this end, we have selected a corpus of job offers published in the best-selling Spanish business newspaper El País Negocios at different periods throughout the year 2000. The analysis gives us a more reliable estimate of qualities in job advertisements as well as an account of the linguistic means used to denote axiological items.