Man Creates Fake Craigslist Ad To View His Competition — He Was Quite Surprised

I’m not sure if anyone could describe the job search better than Eric Auld, a 26-year-old with a Master’s degree in English, who is searching for full-time work to leave his adjunct professor job behind:

… applying to dozens, maybe hundreds of jobs per week; staring vacuously at the familiar monitor glow at 3 a.m.; drinking gallons of coffee/alcohol to endure the monotony of it all; going days, weeks, months, seasons without a single response; yelling violently at the cat and punching the wall in frustration.

A few weeks ago, Auld had enough, and his impatience led him to create a fake Craigslist ad to see where he stood in the job market. He posted a basic ad in order to attract a wide spectrum of job seekers.

His 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.

In 24 hours, Auld received 653 responses. After sorting through every application, he found that 76 percent of applicants had previous true experience. Even 10 percent of applicants had more than 10 years of experience. The breakdown is below:


Auld then evaluated the education levels of all the applicants, and found that 66 percent of applicants held one or more degrees/certificates. The breakdown:


In his conclusion, Auld wrote:

Depressed and exhausted after discovering all of this information, I drew one general mantra from this experiment, one that I could repeat to myself whenever I apply to a new open position: “No matter how much you want this job, there are 652 other people who want it, too.”

NPR picked up Auld’s story last week. You can listen to his radio interview here.

AlterNet / By Alyssa Figueroa

Posted at August 7, 2012, 1:28pm

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