The HR Professor

The HR Professor

Teaching You How to Navigate the Workplace

Excerpts from Foolish Job Ads

While I was recently job searching for a new role, I unfortunately had negative experiences with some abysmal Recruiters. But, I also have read some unreasonable job ads that are potentially discouraging good candidates from even applying in the first place. So, I wanted to follow up on my past article, Why Do We Make the Hiring Process So Difficult? and focus on job ads that I find to be ridiculous and add to my points from that piece. Here are a few job ad excerpts that I have come across in recent weeks:

  1. “Advanced degree from a top tier graduate school. (MBA or Masters in HRM preferred)”
  • How do I know what is considered a top tier school? May I have a list of acceptable schools, please? To be fair, this is for a well-known employer. However, the location of the job is in a town with a population of 16,000 and at least an hour away from any jobs if this one were to not work out. So, if you are going to be snobby about where your degrees come from, you should probably re-think the location of the facility that you open. I can tell you that there are likely not many of these top tier graduates locally, and who wants to relocate to the boonies with a non-existent job market?
  1. “Understanding of and experience with the non-profit sector preferred.”
  • I’ve worked in the manufacturing industry most of my career. I had a short stint of about five months at a non-profit. While it was not for me, it definitely wasn’t rocket science that could not be picked up by a somewhat smart person. HR is HR.
  1. “Experience working in a creative environment.”
  • See above. Really? What does a “creative environment” even mean? One could argue any organization where people create products or manufacture or develop new processes or solve problems has creativity involved.
  1. “TO APPLY: Interested and qualified applicants must: Submit a letter of interest, no more than three pages which clearly describes how you meet the qualifications for this position. Submit a resume of no more than two pages.”
  • So, applicants have to basically re-write their resume into a letter of interest and then cut down their resume to no more than two pages. I thought a resume’s purpose was to display your background. No? And all this for a non-profit with potentially very low pay.
  1. “HRCI or SHRM HR Certification required (scheduled exam date is acceptable).”
  • I’m curious what happens if the new hire fails the scheduled exam. Will they be fired? In my opinion, a Master’s degree in HR is way more valuable than certification.
  1. “Bachelor’s degree or 5-10 years equivalent human resources work experience.”
  • I have 18 years of experience. Since that is more than ten years, may I still apply? How about just stating a minimum of five years of experience?
  1. “Ability to management high volumes of work, execute flawlessly, and understand HR processes.”
  • Ahhh…attention to detail. Many Recruiters and hiring managers will pass on candidates with one error on their resume, but job ads have grammar and spelling errors all the time.
  1. “English/Spanish bilingual/bicultural required.”
  • I see the point here, but I have also worked in companies with multiple ethnicities and languages and somehow I was able to communicate with everyone. This will take a long time to fill.
  1. “Type 50 WPM and kept referring to administration of workmen’s comp
  • So, any HR ad that is referring to typing skills is clearly not for me, but what in the world is “workmen’s comp?” And, the posting states there are a total of three HR Generalists that work there and that the position is open due to promotion. Who wrote this ad? I think they should be hiring a real HR professional at a much higher level who knows what workers’ compensation is and who doesn’t need to pass a typing test in order to work there.
  1. “Please read this ad thoroughly and know that we do not accept resumes without the accompaniment of a cover letter.” After a novel-sized list of requirements, “Please include in your cover letter what equity, diversity, and inclusion means to you. We want to be sure you read the entire ad and also, EDI is a core value here.” Then, they nicely state, “No recruiters, emails, phone calls, or drop-ins, please.
  • That doesn’t sound very inclusive to me and quite condescending, actually.

What other examples of bad job ads can you share?

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About Brenda Maday
Portland, OR