Anyone who has ever gone through the process of applying for jobs online knows how frustrating it can be. You can spend hours creating multiple versions of the same resume in an attempt to increase your chances of it getting seen by the right person. That means you must slightly change your summary, work experience, and skills to get past the keyword tools. All of your hard work to make an impressive-looking resume won’t matter if you are applying for ghost jobs.
Companies use multiple screening tools to ensure your resume never gets seen by HR or the person who posted the job. You can also be screened based on your social media history. Your resume may never even get noticed if you don’t support specific issues that are in fashion. The rise of fake job ads only makes the life of a job applicant more infuriating. There are now counterfeit jobs out there that are just using you to gather your data. How likely do you think the jobs you are applying for are fake and scams?
Welcome to the life of a modern job hunter.
Ghosting has moved on from relationships. Even employers do it now by posting ghost jobs. These jobs never existed in the first place.
Rise Of Ghost Jobs
How many jobs that you apply for have you never received a response from? Maybe you thought you didn’t meet the cut. Or, perhaps that was a fake job. It was a ghost job. The job never existed. The employer intentionally ghosted you.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
“Mr. Kelly, who has decades of experience as a technical and marketing writer, estimates that when he was job hunting in late 2021, about 20% of listings that interested him were posted and reposted without anyone evidently being hired. Since his layoff from a startup in August, he says he has noticed that most jobs that catch his eye have been up for months.“
I first thought of it as an anomaly, and now I see it as a trend,” he says.”
After you spend hours applying for jobs that you think are real, you may only receive an email saying, “Thank you for your application, but you have not been accepted for an interview or the role.” That is likely an automated response. The job may or may not exist. At least you feel somewhat relieved because you got a response, even if it was bogus.
To make matters worse, there may be jobs that remain up on job sites that are inactive. The job website or the employer has not removed the job yet. This further increases the chance that the applications you spend so much time on do not exist. Ghost jobs are another problem applicants must be wary of when applying online.
Employers And Fake Job Advertisements
Employers keep fake job advertisements up for appearances. This means that employers are posting jobs, or keeping job posts up, on online job applicant sites when they have no intention of hiring. Employers leave job posts up to make it appear that they are fairer about their hiring process than they are. They say they want to be open to all candidates to come across as being objective to job seekers. This creates plausible deniability for the employer.
Data is the new oil. Posting job advertisements on job websites is a way for employers to receive that information from job seekers. They may then add you to their database. They may sell your information to a third-party company. There are many wants that a company could use the data that you gave them when you filled out the job application form.
Your data is more valuable to them than interviewing you for the job.
America Has A Fake Economy
If ghost jobs and fake job advertisements were not enough, the United States has created a phony economy from cheap money and zero percent interest rates. To make matters worse, it has outsourced many of the country’s industrial jobs to China. That was a result of NAFTA. The United States is now primarily a service economy. The American economy is largely dependent upon other countries for the goods that it receives that Americans use every day. According to Forbes, roughly 40% of cotton apparel comes from China. That does not include other products. Many American brands that say their products are “Made In America” still manufacture them overseas. It just goes through a processing plant in the United States. The company can then put “Made In America” on its products. Many Americans will buy it because it says “Made In The USA” when it never was.
The reality is that the American economy has been butchered and gutted. There are still ways to make it today, but it will require non-traditional thinking and going against everything you are told to do, like going to college to get a “dream job.”
What You Can Do
The best thing you can do is recognize that there are no ghost jobs and fake job advertisements online. You can review the job descriptions if you are applying for a position on an online job website like Indeed. The more detailed the description, the higher the likelihood it is a real job. But, if they only want your data, writing a more detailed job description doesn’t take much extra time.
You can look for alternatives outside of the traditional job market. If you have transferrable skills, consider becoming a freelancer on a site like Fiverr or Upwork. It could start as a side hustle, but you could eventually make it into your full-time job. The same problem likely exists on those types of websites as well.
If you are more ambitious, you could start your own online business. To do this, you first need a website. You can then add social media to spread your content and message. You can then come up with products and services to sell. Once you have enough infrastructure and income, you can hire and delegate responsibilities to others. You will then have money coming into your business’ bank account that you could reinvest or invest in other projects. This one requires the most responsibility, but it could save you thousands of hours of the annoyance of applying to jobs that don’t exist. You can see the results for yourself since you built it from zero.
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Job hunters have too many things to worry about, from overly picky employers looking for a dream candidate that does not exist to now ghost jobs. The American economy is a service economy now. You will likely be working a service job unless you can get one in a STEM profession. That is true even if you go into debt to get a college degree.
Welcome to the ghost economy. Employers are now ghosting you, the job applicant.