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Old 08-01-2012, 07:35 PM   #1
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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.
This was a fake job listing posted by a part-time employed guy in his late 20s who had been searching for full-time work with benefits. He wanted to see what sort of response the ad generated, to see things from the other side (since he was usually on the "applicant" side).

653 responses in 24 hours before he removed the ad from Craigslist. He threw out 27 that "either contained an inaccessible attachment or a copy-and-paste job gone awry."



And that $12 - $13 per hour position was in New York City.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:20 AM   #2
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That is quite interesting, though I wish he had collected a little more info from the applicants. I also wonder how the field of applicants would change if the job requirements were a little more specific.

I want to post a job listing for my ideal position and see what my competition would be, but I would feel really bad making people write me cover letters and resumes for a fake job. I wonder if there's a way to get some kind of smattering without leading people on.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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That's quite an eye opening experience on just how bad our economy is.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:48 AM   #4
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I like to think that's a worst-case scenerio. Very open job requirements in the heart of a big city with pretty good pay for an entry level position. Hopefully a job that requires an engineering degree will be a little easier to get, but who knows.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:15 AM   #5
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should have posted a minimum wage job and see how eye-opening it is.

when black high shool drop outs are supossed to compete with white people with masters...it's a ------- joke.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:24 AM   #6
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I like to think that's a worst-case scenerio. Very open job requirements in the heart of a big city with pretty good pay for an entry level position. Hopefully a job that requires an engineering degree will be a little easier to get, but who knows.
One thing that is worth noting here is that $13/hour is equivalent to about $27k gross/year assuming the employee is paid for 52 weeks of 40 hours (either through not taking any days off or through some paid time off).

$27k gross in NYC can't possibly go very far. According to the Bankrate.com Cost of Living Calculator, that's the equivalent of $14,147 in the Orlando/Kissimmee metro area (assuming they live in Brooklyn; it's even worse if you use Manhattan).


600+ people willing to apply for a position that pays like that.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
One thing that is worth noting here is that $13/hour is equivalent to about $27k gross assuming the employee is paid for 52 weeks of 40 hours (either through not taking any days off or through some paid time off).

$27k gross in NYC can't possibly go very far. According to the Bankrate.com Cost of Living Calculator, that's the equivalent of $14,147 in the Orlando/Kissimmee metro area (assuming they live in Brooklyn; it's even worse if you use Manhattan).


600+ people willing to apply for a position that pays like that.
While that is true, pretty much anybody is qualified for that position (even I have some experience in that field). I would imagine a position with more stringent requirements would have far fewer applicants.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:30 AM   #8
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Yeah that is equivalent to what a clerk in a meat department at most supermarkets down here pull in annually if they are full time as far as the cost of living comparison goes.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:25 PM   #9
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While that is true, pretty much anybody is qualified for that position (even I have some experience in that field). I would imagine a position with more stringent requirements would have far fewer applicants.
Sorry, I was responding more to your comment that the ad offered "pretty good pay for an entry level position." I can tell you that I made significantly more than $14k per year as a student bussing tables in FL and that was a long time ago.


I think that story, as anecdotal as it is, serves as some pushback to the idea that a lot of the unemployed and long-term unemployed are being too picky on their job selection or are holding out for high wage positions. Over 40% of the people applying held bachelor's or higher degrees:

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Old 08-03-2012, 03:02 PM   #10
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Admin assistant = no special skills. I spend a lot of time in my office teaching the admins how to use Excel and Word, lol. There's a reason people like me are paid more, it's called initiative.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:06 PM   #11
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when black high shool drop outs are supossed to compete with white people with masters...it's a ------- joke.
I had an admin assistant back in 2008-2009 who had no degree, did very little work, refused to do several tasks, and was a huge bitch. We tried to fire her for months, but we were "racists" and wanted to fire her. So for the entire 6-month investigation she surfed Facebook and bought ---- on the internet until the attorneys said we could fire her, lol.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:15 PM   #12
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critical race theory.
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #13
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There are a lot of reasons we are experiencing joblessness the way we do these days. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

Part of the problem is people are applying for jobs they are over qualified for. Case in point a Masters degree in English or even a bachelors in anything is over kill for an admin assistant position(evidenced by the fact that an Admin assistant position usually weighs heavier on experience than education) So that means your resume gets lost in a stack with people that not only will never get the job but shouldn't have applied in the first place.

OK. So you have a bachelors and are applying for something in your field of study. Now you have to contend with a lot of people that have experience and you do not. Competition is fierce because people with experience will take what they can get. Employers know this and will pay them entry level salaries despite their experience therefore people with no experience who should have gotten those jobs never do and never get jobs that require experience.

Besides that there are just a lot of people in the same boat and jobs are scarce. Employers are forcing their employees to increase their productivity for fear of losing their jobs the result is they make them work more, pay them less and job satisfaction suffers.

There are other reasons too. Finding good help is hard. I have sat in on several interviews and they just don't go well. Either the candidate cannot backup what they claimed they know, are too opinionated or generally do not fit in personality wise. Some also have unreasonable salary requirements for the job.

Sadly this leads to another issue, employers are more picky these days. Since budgets are tightly controlled and everyone else is overworked you want to find the right person at the right price, otherwise its not worth it. Hiring and training is expensive, so why would any employer risk that?

The author mentioned if academic background makes a difference. I will tell you that it does and it doesn't. Some positions require a masters, it is necessary simply due to the job title and compensation offered. If you don't got it, you are not considered. Sometimes it weighs heavier than experience. Its all numbers and market analysis. Companies have departments called Compensation Strategy that spend all their time figuring this out. But here's a fun fact. In some fields a certification has more weight than a masters. I hear engineering is like this.

At the end of the day though, the higher the position the higher your education and the more certifications you must possess.

I'll tell you what is funny though. The number of people getting MBA's has increased quite a bit since the ---- hit the fan. I remember how many of my friends that lost their jobs in 08 went back to school for them and even more so now. Masters and MBA's are now what bachelor degrees were(high school diploma before that). However, their is a caveat. An MBA with no experience is as useless as a bachelors with no experience. Most colleges mandated MBA applicants have at least 2 years work experience, not so anymore, only few these days do and its usually the most prestigious(can't get a job? Go learn more...cha ching for the school). Ask me how I know. I have two more semesters before I get my MBA, 90% of my classes are filled with students that have never worked a day in their lives, went straight for their masters after bachelors. Problem is, their prospects for finding a job are worse than if they had a bachelors alone. Why? Numbers again. Employers have to pay more for a candidate with a masters, but why pay more when you can train an employee with a bachelors just the same and pay them less. So if you are getting your MBA, make sure you have some experience that is applicable to your field of study and vice verse.

There is only one way to get a good job these days. Not saying its impossible to do it the old fashioned way, but it will be a lot longer and harder. The secret is networking. Networking and more networking. The more connections you have, the more people you know, the more relationships you build the more people you impress the more likely you are to find a job if you dont have one and get another if you lose one. Building a network with a job is hard so you gotta know someone to get you in, but its not impossible for the industrious type just very hard. If you are working though, start making lots and lots of friends because you will need them and they will need you. This is especially important if you possess certain talents or connections that other people will want. So they will work with you to achieve mutually beneficial results.

Last edited by Saml01; 08-03-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:05 PM   #14
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I can't believe that with all the idiots I deal with on a regular basis that 90% of them are employed (more like 85%). I just went to buy stuffs and the dude would not help me because he was phone whoring. I'd fire him on the spot, next.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Saml01 View Post
There is only one way to get a good job these days. Not saying its impossible to do it the old fashioned way, but it will be a lot longer and harder. The secret is networking. Networking and more networking. The more connections you have, the more people you know, the more relationships you build the more people you impress the more likely you are to find a job if you dont have one and get another if you lose one. Building a network with a job is hard so you gotta know someone to get you in, but its not impossible for the industrious type just very hard. If you are working though, start making lots and lots of friends because you will need them and they will need you. This is especially important if you possess certain talents or connections that other people will want. So they will work with you to achieve mutually beneficial results.
^ This

I just graduated with my B.S. in accounting and had landed a solid job a month after I graduated making as much money as some of my peers who currently have their Master's degree and CPA license. I managed this not because I had the highest GPA or graduated from a top rated school (I had neither going for me) but because I made sure I collected the right contacts throughout my last year in college and followed up on every lead I gained from them.

Granted accounting specifically was not hit as hard by the recession but most of the good job openings vanished because the steady turn around that the industry is known for as people move around stopped as people stayed where they were out of fear leaving most new graduates, even those that were more distinguished, to pick up the lower accounting jobs that did not require the degree and paid just over 30K.

I will be going back for my Master's and to get my CPA and have created valuable contacts withing my current job who have been in the industry for decades. When I finish schooling I am confident that I will already have a solid offer that offers compensation and opportunities above most of my peers.

Anytime someone asks me how I landed a good job so quickly I stress to them the importance of networking and joining the right organizations that effectively connect you with the right people. So many people choose not to take the initiative to make these connections and only realize their mistake when their prime opportunities to network have passed.
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