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In Uncategorized on June 24, 2017 at 11:25 am

Time to put minutes on my Straight Talk phone 😀


The illusion of a job market

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Abstract: In today’s US job market not only the unemployed needs to struggle to try to find a job but also to try to stay away from misdirecting their efforts toward “ghost” job placement web sites.

It is such a sarcastic job market environment out there nowadays that I am actually seriously thinking of totally changing my job seeking strategy to see if my luck would finally take a turn for the better. I have been in the market for almost a year now; and I have not have any luck following the “right” rules of engagement for job seekers, as defined in every single job placement site in the internet. I always try to do my best to present a polished resume with relevant and pertinent information. I go out of my way to please the interviewers’ scheduling priorities and I am very prompt returning calls and following-up on any request for more information. I am also always on time and thoroughly prepared for my all interviews, quickly following up with elaborated thank you notes that include professional, academic and personal references, copies of pertinent certifications and awards, and even an unofficial transcript for my graduate work. All I get is positive feedbacks about both my thoroughness and my accomplishments but never an offer. I have even taken to do rejection follow-ups letters trying to get pointers and criticisms on what it is that I am doing wrong and/or missing. Most people ignore the latest and the few replies are always within the clichés of either me being over-qualified or not experienced enough with some very specific requirements on the job description. I am going nuts!

I have been even thinking of increasing my debt with the government by going back to school to complete a PhD program. I finished my graduate work just two years ago and got myself into a 30K+ indebt but it has not helped me land a job, even with over 20 years of experience in the same exact field.

Seeing that enhancing my education and following the rules is not giving me results has gotten me into thinking that maybe I am doing it all wrong. My attitude should be the total opposite of what I have been doing. I need to be uncaring, forget about wasting any more money in education and use only one generic resume to apply to any open job that I may find out there, even if it is not in my field of expertise and that I do not know jack about it. I need to return the call of whomever calls me back, (which by the way, 90% are normally agents from job agencies rather than actual employers), whenever I feel like it and make them sweat and wait. If I happen to score an interview (which, again, it would probably be a phone pre-screening session also with a job agency person), I shall be shallow and provide as minimum information as possible and give them the impression that I am all too busy with other prospects’ callers awaiting that I can’t hardly have time for long chatty sessions. Right after the interview is over, I would wait until I receive another inquiry, for a different job, but most likely from the same agency, and I will go through the motion again. Just as to temporarily lift my spirit pretending that they are indeed helping me find a job, of course, they never followed up with me to let me know about what happened with the previous job, but maybe it is too much for me to ask that they remember my name. After all, we Americans without employment are almost in the millions nowadays. Moreover, with the collective job seeking effort being so high, the marketplace for job finding agencies has also increased tenfold.

With today’s job unemployment rate so high and diluted, employers are posting jobs outside their confines just to go through the motions of covering their behinds against any possible legal liability. This is especially true with high-paying posts, jobs starting in the 70Ks and up. Whenever a middle management high paid position is actually available, employers most likely have an idea of whom they want for the position. Even if the particular person they have in mind is under-qualified, they rather give that money to someone familiar, or related to someone already working for the company rather than giving an outsider a chance. Employers are normally OK hiring young talent for low entry-level positions, but they balk at the thought of giving an outsider the big money positions. This has always been the hidden true no matter how the market or the unemployment rate is. In only very especial and specialized circumstances, employers may go outside for these types of opening. What is happening now, with the proliferation of job placement web sites, is that all these “bogus” job announcements are ending up in the list of all of these job agencies; they are getting in the hands, of sales people that make most of their salary through commissions earned for making calls and doing screenings with so-called “potential” candidates. The lie perpetuates and expands throughout the country and everyone makes money out of the misery of the job seekers but job seekers themselves. It is all a scam, a web of deceits to create an illusion of an active job market.

This is indeed, in a nutshell, today’s job market, unfortunately. We actually have more job placement businesses that we have employment opportunities. The business model resembles the real-estate dog-eat-dog marketplace. In real estate business, sales agents from multiple agencies have access to listings of available properties and go into a frenzy trying to find buyers. Whomever get to complete the financial end of the transaction first get the sale while the other are left hung, together with their prospect clients, until another feasible property is listed and the process start all over again. Of course, there are realtors that get exclusive listings; but these are few and they are mostly in the high pricing end of the housing spectrum. Most small real estate houses are in the business of selling ghost properties that can disappear into the hand of another house salesperson in a cinch. The job placement business is, basically, the same but with a caveat. You still have the high rollers agencies with exclusive access to job openings. In this model, either the employer or the job seeker ends up paying for the service. The rest of the industry, which make the bulk of the millions job placement agencies that keep popping-up every day in the internet, get to fight for the all ghost listings they can put their hands on. Basically, a ghost job opening would be post in some database to which bunches of job agencies have access to, and then, the job seekers, become the prey of hungry commission-seekers agents looking to fatten their wallets. The caveat of the business model at this end of the industry is that in reality their main source of income comes from the internet advertising they get from the traffic of all the people visiting their site to find jobs. Therefore, the sales people in these agencies are really paid to increase their respective sites’ traffic. They are also paid to give a false sense that they are actually trying to find people jobs and they do this by acting as screeners and conducting phone interviews apparently to sift through candidates when in reality, these are bogus interviews designed to keep the job seekers hopes high so they would keep coming to the site. This is a very frustrating job searching environment and I am not even talking yet about the real job seeking efforts that we, the unemployed, have to go through when dealing and competing for genuine commercial job openings and state and federal job openings. These two you normally find by visiting corporate websites and government websites directly and they have horrors of their own as well. Maybe on another day I would let you know about my job seeking experiences in those two particular areas. I am about to go back into my daily headache dosage of attaching resumes and screening for ghost job sites. Although I do enjoy writing about my experiences, in my particular case writing does not bring the bread into my house. Is there any offer for writing jobs out there? Maybe I could become your ghostwriter. 😉

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