I have a rage growing inside me like snowdrops in the spring. Why can’t the people who write job ads be honest?

I have a rage growing inside me like snowdrops in the spring. Why

can’t the people who write job ads be honest?

For every hazy one that doesn’t actually tell you what the position is,

there is another that entices you to the end of the copy, before

shocking you with the requirement of six languages, one of which must be

either Swahili or Serbo-Croat. And that’s for a waitress job at the


As if that wasn’t bad enough, many ads are totally misdirected. Several

times, I’ve flicked open the Guardian’s IT section looking for that

tempting offer to become an analyst on a pounds 65,000 salary. Looking

down through the Web creation companies and publishers, you see a tiny

little ad: ’Sales assistant wanted for a cushion company in


It’s approximately 75 per cent smaller than any other ad, but it sticks

out as much as if the super-keen sales executive had booked the whole

page for his client.

You read on, intrigued, to see that the salary is negotiable but circa

pounds 8,000. Negotiable? This is 1997. You can’t negotiate. Should I

wish to apply, there will be about three million other people going for

the job. At least one of them will have worked in their grand-father’s

cushion company in Yorkshire and six will probably have slept with the

managing director before the secretary gets round to binning my


Personnel departments, please, just be truthful. Say, ’Salary pounds


Non-negotiable, take it or leave it. Should you choose to try to

negotiate, enjoy your retirement, because we’re going to make sure you

never work in a cushion company.’

The ones that try to be funny are the worst. ’Don’t be a Christmas

Turkey.’ I wasn’t thinking of being one, but why, have you got a

vacancy? Then the company tries to carry the joke into the copy. ’Don’t

wait until January, or you, like the turkey, could be stuffed.’ All this

effort for a dreary little sales position. It’s hardly worth bothering

to switch on my PC.

Send your rants to Diary Editor, Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London

W6 7JP.


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