We do a lot of research into the job search here at TheLadders (as a matter of fact, we’re the only job company that underwrites research into job search efficacy at American and international universities).
As part of my look into the history of job search, I set out with my colleagues to find the oldest Help Wanted Ad we could find in the United States.
Here’s the leading claimant thus far, an ad from the Williamsburg, VA Virginia Gazette of February 24, 1752:
Transcript: “A Sober Perfon, well recommended, who hath been us’d to the Employment of an Oyfterman on York River, may meet with good Encouragement, on applying to Benjamin Bryan.”
In addition to the longs, I love the very, very soft sell of this ad: “may meet with good Encouragement”. I wonder how much more effective our Job Postings could be if we all used a little more of the “soft touch” in our communications to professionals.
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