Adjunct professor Eric Auld was in the market for a new job. At 26, he was barely making enough money to pay his rent and utilities, let alone his student loans. So he turned where any job-seeking millenial turns for opportunity: Craigslist.
Unfortunately, after weeks of searching and submitting his resumes to job posting after job posting, Auld hadn’t had any luck. Even though he had a master’s degree and one job already, he never heard back from any potential employers. So he decided to try and learn more about just how desperate the situation was: he posted a job listing himself.
Motivated partly by curiosity, and partly by a desire to gain any edge he could in the job search, Auld posted a fairly standard Craigslist job offer. The job was an office administration position in Midtown Manhattan that paid $12 and hour, no experience or education requirements specified. While he expected an impressive volume of resumes, the actual response was more than he could have ever anticipated.
The first resume came just four minutes after the listing went up. Then after an hour, there were 164. Auld left the listing up for 24 hours, which was enough time to amass 653 responses. And it wasn’t just the quantity of resumes that was shocking, but the quality. Only 24% of the applicants had no relevant experience. 39% had between one and five years of relevant experience, and 10% had more than ten years of experience. Nearly 40% of applicants had a bachelor’s degree, 24% had an associate’s degree, and 3% had a master’s degree.
Many readers were not amused by Auld’s experience, lauding it as a thoughtless invasion of privacy. And while it’s certainly disheartening that any of the jobs that so many desperate job seekers are applying to might not exist, the numbers provided by the social experimenter are even more discouraging. The moral of the story? Keep applying to jobs online – but don’t get your hopes up.
After all, hundreds of qualified people might be just competing with you.