Eric Auld and the Great Craigslist Job Posting Experiment
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A Craigslist job posting experiment by recent grad, Eric Auld, highlighted just how dire the job market is for many. For those who are freshly out of school, such as Master’s graduate Auld, finding a job should be a fun prospect, full of possibilities of the dream career after the fruits of one’s academic labors. The higher one’s education, the better it would seem their chances of getting their foot in the door with the desired employer and climbing that corporate ladder. But unfortunately, as many graduates such as Auld have found out, that is not the case in today’s economy.

But just how bad is the job market? That is exactly what Auld set out to prove when he decided to create a false job advertisement, just to see exactly what kind of response it would garner and who his own competition was. The results? Nothing short of astounding.


Auld fashioned a job ad on Craigslist for an Administrative Assistant. The ad read:

Administrative Assistant needed for busy Midtown office. Hours are Monday through Friday, nine to five. Job duties include: filing, copying, answering phones, sending e-mails, greeting clients, scheduling appointments. Previous experience in an office setting preferred, but will train the right candidate. This is a full-time position with health benefits. Please e-mail résumé if interested. Compensation: $12-$13 per hour.

Within 24 hours, Auld had 653 responses. Stunned by the results, he waded through the resumes to grab some data to show just who his competition was. He found that 34% of the applicants had a high school diploma or G.E.D., 24% had an Associate’s degree, or related certificate, 39% had a Bachelor’s degree, and 3% had a Master’s degree. Even though he specified that office work experience was preferred, he found that 24% of the applicants had no experience, 17% had less than 1 year of experience, 22% had 1 to 2 years of experience, 17% had less than 1 year of experience, 22% had 1 to 2 years of experience, 17% had 3 to 5 years of experience, 10% had 6 to 9 years of experience, and 10% had over ten years of experience.

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While overall the numbers can be disheartening to anyone looking for a job, Auld did say that this information was useful and he was able to come away with a few conclusions: employers won’t likely notice you by your resume alone (so follow-up and get a good reference), 2) Apply to a job opening immediately (almost 50% of the 653 responses to his ad were within the first three hours), and 3) Anticipate a lengthy resume review process, given the number of applicants for each job.

And we do like Auld’s new mantra, “No matter how much you want this job, there are 652 other people who want it, too.”

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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What info did you find here today?:

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