5 Steps to The Worst Job Ad Ever

Updated on: 17. November 2023

There’s loads of articles out there on how to write the right job ad, but what if you don’t want to run the risk of anyone actually applying? Here’s our…

There’s loads of articles out there on how to write the right job ad, but what if you don’t want to run the risk of anyone actually applying? Here’s our top 5 tips to the worst job ad ever.


1. Copy and paste your job ad from the 90’s

The key to making sure your job ad doesn’t get a second glance is by using the tried and tested script that someone in HR came up with sometime in 1995. It reads something like this:

Company X searching for Y to begin with immediate effect. Industry experience essential. $55,000 per annum plus bonus incentive. Fax, post or email resume to…

Don’t forget to have it featured in the classified section or you might be waiting next to the mailbox for a while.

2. Throw in some casual discrimination

Casual discrimination is good way to discourage applicants and ruin your employer branding, two birds one stone! Here are some top phrases to make sure your job ad effectively rules out some potential candidates from the get go:

‘Able Bodied’ – No one with disabilities here please!
‘Young Team’ – Stay away oldies.
‘Salesman, Storeman’ – Anything but a woman
‘English must be your first language’ – No foreigners in these parts!

Take it one step further and rule out certain races altogether like this Australian supermarket chain. It got them a loads of attention from the news, and we know how the saying goes: Any press is better than no press…

3. Include loads of jargon

People love pointless jargon, especially when they’ve been wading through job ads all day. Monster recently did a poll on the top job ad cliche culprits, here’s some good ones:

  • Penetrate the market
  • Laser Focused
  • Self starter
  • Need an idea with ‘legs’
  • Blue sky thinking

Why use the word creative when you can say ‘blue sky thinking’? It sounds so much nicer. Oh, and 60% of job seekers find Jargon annoying so it’s a win win situation all round.

4. Make lots of speeling mistakes

In Monster’s poll of over 2000 job seekers, 23% reported grammatical errors in job ads. Spelling mistakes in the job ad really showcase a company’s attention to detail, here’s a few examples:

Hiring manger – Baby jesus is coming to stay!
Ales manager – Must have a taste for bitter beer.
Sioux chefNative American cooks only.
Lid Engineer – Extensive lid opening experience essential.
Resauce Manager – Must have a taste for condiments.

Apparently 64% of job seekers wouldn’t apply to a job ad if they didn’t understand the job title, so fitting that spelling mistake into the title of the job ad is an ideal start for less applicants.

5. Take a leaf from these guys:

The Daily Edge compiled a list of the 11 worst job ads of all time, here are the top 5:

Looking for female deli staff. Experience required. Fully flexible. Hmm.
Now hiring: 1 pretty & 2 ugly dancers. Equal opportunities?
Help Wanted. Must dominate the English language.  DOMINATE it.
Now hiring: Must have clue. Don’t we all.
Apply today, pizza cook. Qualifications: Not be a crybag. No one likes a crybag.

Further suggestions? Leave your tips below. In the meanwhile take a look at our example of the perfect job ad, which might actually run the risk of attracting promising candidates (strictly no crybags).

Image Reference: Flickr Leah Riley

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