If you’re just goofing around, applying won’t suffice. In addition, you’ll have to come in for an interview, undergo job training, and perhaps even show up for work every day.
If you’re serious, all you have to do is apply, and you’re done.
Or could it be the dangling only refers to serious and not to the act of applying?
As I keep scouring Craigslist’s Help Wanted section in my endearingly fruitless quest for employment, I keep stumbling across the endearingly insipid Serious Only Need Apply. I can’t help but wonder about the mindset of an employer who would bother to include such a silly line in a job ad, assuming the employer him- or herself either wrote or personally signed off on it prior to its publication. (Even if some factotum was wholly responsible for the content of the ad, the impression it engenders attaches to the employer and the company, not to the witless minion in charge of its composition.)
Obviously, Serious Only Need Apply won’t deter non-serious applicants, precisely because they’re non-serious and therefore won’t take the text of the ad seriously in the first place. Moreover, given that non-compliance carries no penalty whatsoever and nothing is lost by applying, the dopey line won’t even deter those unable to quantify the extent of their own seriosity for the purpose of determining whether or not it falls within the employer’s definition of the term.
The only class of applicants this line may conceivably deter are those concerned about a potential employer’s ostensibly limited understanding of human nature such that he or she appears to believe its inclusion would keep pranksters at bay. A person with such a paltry grasp of how the human psyche operates is most likely clueless about what motivates people in general, and employers who are clueless about what motivates their employees tend to lead by the crack of the whip. Sounds enticing. Can’t wait to apply.
For better or worse, first impressions are crucial on both sides of the hiring process, and Serious Only Need Apply deserves its place on the Mount Rushmore of instant turn-offs, along with a truckload of typos and the infamous No Pay.
Since it takes four to make a Rushmore, here’s another popular doozy:
Must Be Qualified.
At least one doesn’t have to be alive, awake and willing to work, or it would surely say so in the ad.
Tags: Words & Language