Dominant theories in stratification research suppose modernization processes to have caused societies to become more open. Employers are assumed to have increasingly selected from among applicants on the basis of job-related characteristics, such as their skills, rather than on characteristics unrelated to the job, such as social origin. We address this issue by studying employers' selection criteria in job advertisements. We do so for the heyday of modernization, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Employers are found to have selected more on job-related than on other characteristics even at the start of the period, but the extent to which they did so did not increase over time. Job-related characteristics were no more important as selection criteria in modern occupations, or in modern municipalities. Despite what modernization theories suggest, employers were no more and no less inclined to select their personnel through job advertisements. Employers did, however, select more on job-related characteristics for occupations with a high status. © 2014 International Sociological Association Research Committee 28 on Social Stratification and Mobility.