7 Obnoxious Job Ads That Deserve to Go in the Bin

Pete Ross


Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that most companies really need to up their game when it comes to not only their job ads, but their expectations. If you've spent any decent period of time looking for a job, you begin to see trends of what companies are asking for and the kinds of coded language they use to try and trick jobseekers into applying.

Of course it goes without saying that none of these are good - if they were, there wouldn't be masses of exhausted, frustrated jobseekers out there. Here are seven of the worst examples of unreasonable job ads you're likely to see on the market, and they're so bad that they're obnoxious.

The “we expect 3–5 years experience” but call it “entry-level” position.

Perhaps the most common and egregious offender on the list, responsible for slowly sucking the soul out of anyone who has just gotten out of college and is trying to get their career started. Oh you thought “entry-level” meant that the job was entry level? That’s adorable. No, “entry-level” means entry level pay, not work.

These are the companies you should steer clear of like the Corona virus, because they are clearly looking to exploit desperate people in between jobs. No one with the experience they’re after would accept such a terrible salary unless they were desperate.

The conditions and people in such companies generally suck as well, because when you’re that shameless in a job ad, imagine what you’re like day to day when you don't have to put on appearances.

The “must have a university degree” ad.

Another common one, and it’s usually as common as it is nonsensical. You want an accountant? Sure, that person needs to have a degree and professional certification to do that job. Some average office job in the business world that has no special requirements though, that’s ridiculous. Some of the smartest people I know in the business world don’t have a degree and in some companies, that even means you can’t go past a certain level in seniority.

Newsflash: a degree doesn’t make someone better and in the case of the liberal arts right now, possibly makes them worse. The last person I’d want working for me is a gender studies graduate.

The job ad with no salary range

Ugh, is anyone else tired of this annoying little practice? It’s the most predatory of ways to get new employees because you’re trying to get them for as little as possible right from the start, regardless of how good they are. Not only that, in most cases you’re wasting a huge amount of their time with interviews, only to tell them at the end that you can’t offer what they want.

For everyones' sake, put a damn salary range in your job ads. Let people decide if it’s worth their time and yours at the outset. You'll save everyone a lot of hassle.

Double points for douchiness if you don’t put a salary range in but lie and say “competitive (or worse, great) salary and benefits” when it’s at the bottom of the industry standard.

The bait and switch ad

A favourite of many businesses who make a pasttime of burning people out to save as much money as possible. The job ad might be a basic description for an IT administrator, but when you get to the company you find out the list of responsibilities you have is like one of those medieval scrolls that a messenger would roll out before reading to the king.

The job description says an 8 hour day, but by the end of the first week you realise that the 8 hours only referred to what was in the job ad, you need another 4 to do everything else.

The role without the title ad

You look at the description and it has you developing a new capability and processes at the company, managing a couple of staff and taking on senior responsibilities. You’d normally think “wow, what a great opportunity!” Except for the fact that the job title is “supply coordinator” or “business analyst”.


You expect me to do all that, and won’t even give me the title of manager or something else that accurately describes what I do? Oh and of course then there’s the real rub – the pay is for a pure business analyst. All the other stuff you’re expected to do, that’s labelled as “opportunity.” Yeah thanks, I’ll pass.

The riddled with spelling mistakes ad

I mean come on, seriously? At least run your ad through spellcheck on MS Word. It even checks grammar! Maybe go the extra mile and use something like Grammarly or the Hemingway editor. Seriously, when you can’t even write a basic job ad with correct spelling, I can’t imagine what working for you is like.

This goes back to one of the previous points where I noted that your job ad is where you're supposed to show how great you are so you attract the best people to your company. If you can't even be bothered to get your spelling right in a job ad, why would I want you as my manager? That poor a level of attention to detail is going to mean I never get what I need from you as an employee because you clearly just can't be bothered.

The “everything but the kitchen sink” but pays bottom of the scale job

I see these more often than I care to. Company wants someone with incredible credentials – anyone in the industry knows that this person would be at the top of their pay scale and of ridiculous value. Yet the powers that be of company X are offering half of what they should.

Most of us just chuckle while we think “get the heck outta here.” The management of said company probably goes to flea markets on the weekend expecting to find Excalibur available for a few bucks. Then management has the hide to complain that they can't find great talent.

What job ads have you seen like this?

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I write about career, performance, psychology, self development and business humour. I'm an author, former national competitor in judo and strongman and a former military instructor.


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