Real Ads; Real Problems


Ever go online and look at job ads to see who is hiring and who is looking for work? When I do, without fail I see ads from people who haven’t even got a small chance of getting hired.

I find myself wishing I could get these people together in a room and help them out by sharing some job searching basics. I envision starting such an event by shouting as loudly as I’m able, “You’re doing it wrong!”

For example, just now, I read an ad posted by a woman who stated she is looking for work. Her two line ad says she’s pregnant, looking for a job working from home, and she doesn’t want to put money out to get money and she’ll do anything. That’s the entire ad. Anything? Really? I doubt it. This is a vague appeal to someone who will pay her to do something from her home but there’s no hint of what skills she has, whether she owns a computer with internet access; even if she has a phone. Presumably she has a computer to place the ad, but maybe it was posted by someone else in the home and she doesn’t have access to the computer all day herself. Who knows?

I looked at another ad posted by a 26 year old person who says he’s a Line Rigger by trade and has been doing that for 6 years but has no chance of growing. He wants to change jobs and he’s attached two pictures of his resume. Both pictures are fuzzy and unreadable, and the second page photo is actually a horizontal view of a vertical document. I’ve no idea what he’s interested in but he’s waiting for an employer to call him up and offer him a job. Yep…good luck with that.

Finally there was an ad from a guy who is detail-oriented; finally, someone who is sharing one of their skills. The problem however is that while he’s detail-oriented, he typed it like this: ‘detaile orientted.’ If I was an employer I couldn’t email him back fast enough; he’s exactly what I’m looking for. Not!

Look, if you are using a local classified service to market yourself, you have to present yourself in a way that makes you attractive to employers, and you must know who you are appealing to. If you don’t know what you want, how on earth do you really think someone who doesn’t know you at all could figure it out for you? That’s your job, not theirs.

Now the people who are looking for work that I looked at are not the only ones failing miserably. I turned to a few ads posted by people and organizations looking to hire. I think some of these people are going to be pretty frustrated and disappointed with the people that respond to their ads and they only have themselves to blame.

Take this ad looking for someone to look after their 3 boys. The ad starts out saying they are looking for someone to provide care for the boys and that no housekeeping is expected. However later in the ad it mentions that laundry, tidying up, light dusting and kitchen clean-up is required. So this housekeeping; is it required or not? I’m confused.

I also saw an ad for Child and Youth Workers to provide overnight extraordinary care in a residential setting. The ad requires applicants to have a driver’s licence, car, criminal reference check, vulnerable sector check, clean driver’s abstract, first aid certificate, degree in a related Child and Youth discipline, and be available for shifts 24 hours a day 7 days a week. In addition, applicants have to be prepared to deal with physically aggressive youth, take training in physical restraint, and the organization expects the person to have 2-3 years’ experience. Fair enough, that’s a lot of expectations but I applaud them for ensuring the people they hope to attract are highly skilled and the best out there. So my issue with this ad? The organization is prepared to pay $13.00 per hour. Great pay if you’re in an underdeveloped country, but when the minimum wage is $11.25; well…you get what you pay for. Shame on this organization for undervaluing the people who are expected to provide extraordinary care.

So then I envisioned these employers and others like them all in a room where I could run a two hour session on how to find the right people. How would I start that session? I’d yell at the top of my lungs, “You’re doing it wrong!”

I know that not everyone has the ability to market themselves the best they can; unfortunately some never will. If you know of someone who is putting an ad on the internet looking for work, do them a favour and have them pull it down. Quite frankly, some of the ads expose the poster to threats of exploitation. Drag them into an employment office.

As for some employers and the wages you’re offering, do a re-think. Don’t lower your expectations and fail your clients, provide a fair living wage to match your expectations. Just because there are many people out of work shouldn’t give you the latitude to exploit the desperate.

It’s not hard to find the right people or the right job – IF you market each correctly.

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