The Job Search Con Game

I’ve written about the posted position con game on several occasions, most recently upon my return from the Career Thought Leaders conference.

It's A Trap!
It’s A Trap!

Yesterday I saw an article on Linkedin by one of my favorite people in the careers industry, Lou Adler. His thoughts on “Why Responding to a Job Posting is a Waste of Time” echo my own. But Adler went further by providing some numbers to back up his statements. Adler’s comments from the article appear in bold; my own thoughts follow. His article is excellent though, and definitely worth the read.

1. Recruiters find people for jobs, not jobs for people. This concept might not seem like a big deal, but it is a huge deal. Recruiters (top recruiters) are not in the business of finding jobs for people, no matter how much an executive might want them to. Responsibility for managing a career belongs with the candidate and should be driven by the candidate, not defaulted to a third party. Not even a recruiter.

2. A person who is referred to a recruiter from a trusted source is 20X more likely to be considered than someone who responded to a job posting. This statistic shows the power of networking. And with recruiters, the importance of networking BEFORE you NEED a new job

3. A person whose resume or LinkedIn profile is found via a Google search is 5X more likely to be considered than someone who applies directly to a job posting. I have been evangelizing the power of a complete and compelling Linkedin profile for years, and my clients have great success with Linkedin as a passive job search strategy. Are you being found on Linkedin for opportunities that a good fit for you?

4. If you’re not a perfect match on skills and experiences, your resume is unlikely to even be read. The posted position game is a con game. It looks easy, seems easy, but it is anything but easy. It is a huge disadvantage to candidates and requires constant reiterations to a resume in order to meet all the requirements of a job posting.

Don’t fall into the con game trap. Otherwise, as Adler says …

When it comes to your career, the worst thing you can do is mistake activity for progress and then complain about your lack of progress.

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