SmartRecruiters Blog

10 Most Ridiculous Job Ad Requirements

I look at a lot of job descriptions and sometimes I see certain requirements that are baffling and borderline silly. Please avoid these ridiculous “requirements” in the writing all of your job ads. These 10 are NOT my favorites. These are the 10 most ridiculous (and unfortunately prominent) job ad requirements.

I’ll start with four “requirements” I see in all types of job ads:

10. Excellent Communication Skills

If someone is not an excellent communicator, you will know it upon first communication, and they will not be able to communicate their interest in the position in follow up interactions. I think this is a traditional space filler.

9. Detail Oriented

How can you prove this one? Everyone is detailed oriented or so they think. Again, I think this is just listed on most job ads as a space filler.

8. Out of the Box Thinker

Again, this is a characteristic that is proven, not claimed. By loading your job ad with these types of buzzwords, the real out of the box thinkers will probably perceive you as an in the box company.

7. Copier and Fax Experience

And I’m not talking repairman positions. If you are having a problem finding employees who can use a fax machine or a copier, you need to think about where you are looking for employees. You also should consider an upgrade of your technology. Or maybe you should jump into your time machine and go back to the ’80s.

Most Ridiculous

Now, let’s move into ridiculous job ad “requirements” for more specific types of jobs:

6. Sales Jobs

Self-starter? Shouldn’t everyone be a “self-starter”? Sometimes getting motivated takes some effort but I think everyone should be a self-starter, if you work in sales, HR, accounting, warehouse production …it doesn’t matter. And how do you prove you are a self-starter?

5. Customer Service Positions

A four year degree. Why? There is no metric that proves that having a four year degree makes you a better customer service agent. Customer Service is about communication, service and professionalism, you can learn that without a four year degree. Do you know who does not have a four year degree? Many of Forbes top billionaires.

4. Social Media Jobs

Five to ten years of experience or expert knowledge. Again, why? First of all, social media is barely 10 years old and most of the platforms that started 10 year ago are gone. The others are still changing every year so there is no such thing as an expert. Conversely, do you know who has about a decade of social media experience? Almost every teenager!

3. Management Jobs

15 + years of experience. Hey, do me a favor, name an industry in which the work that is performed today is the same as 10 or 15 years ago. Cooking burgers maybe? Chemical plants? There are some, however it’s a fact across industires that the workforce and the technologies we use change all the time.

2. Minimum Wage Jobs

A degree, any degree really. Investing in your education should net a sizable gain. Minimum wage is as low as $5.15 in some states and as much as $9.19 in others, either way that’s not much money and to require a college degree just doesn’t seem applicable in most cases.

1. Entry Level Jobs

Three to five years of experience…think about that for a moment. It’s entry level! Why is there any experience requirement at all?


There you have it – the ridiculousness I too often see in job advertisements. What do you think are the most ridiculous “requirements” in job ads?


chris fieldsChris Fields is an HR professional and leadership guy who also helps job seekers write great resumes and blogs. His work can be found at & Modified Photo Credit Man V. Food.

SmartRecruiters is the hiring platform with everything you need to source talent, manage candidates, and make the right hires.


Download our new White Paper to learn about “The Evolution of Job Posting.” Want to add your job board to the SmartRecruiters Store? Express Interest Here.

Chris Fields

Chris Fields is an HR professional and leadership guy who blogs and dispenses great (not just good) advice at Cost of Work & ResumeCrusade.