is it true that 80% of job openings are never advertised, last-minute meetings, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Is it true that 80% of job openings are never advertised?

I always hear the statement that “You know, 80% of job openings are never posted or advertised.” What do you think? Is this statement true or false? What has been your experience?

If it is true, how are 80% of these jobs getting filled then? How can job seekers find these jobs? If it is false, why do people make these kinds of statements?

From everything I can see, it’s false. It may have been true 30 years ago when it first started getting thrown around, but I don’t know it was true even then. 80% is crazy high.

It’s not that some jobs don’t go unadvertised; some do! But that 80% figure doesn’t seem to be anywhere close to the reality.

Jonathan Blaine has a good discussion of this here. As for why it keeps getting repeated, it’s being repeated by people who don’t know any better, who aren’t thinking critically about it or testing it against their own experience, and who in some cases have something to gain by convincing job seekers that finding a job is a mysterious thing they need to pay for help doing.

2. My manager schedules lots of last-minute meetings with no warning

I just started a new job and everything is great except for one thing (maybe two things). My supervisor has a habit of telling me about meetings last minute, and they are often several hours long. This is extremely frustrating because I am a major planner and like to lay my day out in advance. I am also the kind of person who gets into a working groove and does not want it to get disrupted. I suppose the other small issue is that while my new supervisor is a super nice guy, he can be socially awkward and get gruff once in a blue moon (he will immediately apologize for those instances when he does get gruff), so I am afraid to tell him I cannot handle these last second meetings.

At my last job I was somewhat isolated, which had advantages and disadvantages. I had the power to reject meetings invites and my supervisor was across the country. Now my supervisor is right next to my office and my day is getting flooded with meetings that lack value. Since I am new, I feel like I don’t have the capital to complain or try to reduce meetings. There are so many great things about this new job, but I am really hung up on this one issue. What can I do?

You can raise this in a way that isn’t complaining: “I’m a major planner and like to lay out my day in advance. It can be tough when I’m in a groove on something and then a meeting comes up that I didn’t know to plan around. Would it be workable to get an earlier heads-up about some of these?”

Depending on how senior you are and your dynamic with your manager, you could also try having some conflicts with these multi-hour meetings: “I have a hard stop at 2:00 because I have a phone meeting then with X.” … “I’ve got this afternoon blocked off for X since the deadline is close. Would it be possible to schedule this for Thursday instead?” … etc.

3. Multiple names changes due to marriage

I have been married twice. I changed my last name both times, and I’m not sure of the best way to show this on my resume. I’ve seen the suggestion to put my maiden name in parentheses, like Sally (Lannister) Smith, but this doesn’t account for jobs that will only know me by my first husband’s last name.

It seems like my options are either to list all the names I’ve used at the top under an “Other Names Used” heading, or to list the name I used at each specific job: Teapot Smasher, 2002-2008 (As Sally Tyrell). What’s going to cause the least confusion?

I definitely wouldn’t do an “other names used” section or even the “as Sally Tyrell” option next to each job. It’s too likely to conjure up associations with aliases, rather than marriage-related name changes.

I don’t think you need to worry about this on your resume at all. It’s only going to be relevant when employers check references, so when you provide your references, I’d include it there — similar to how you might include a line explaining how a particular reference knows you. In this case, in addition to “Fergus was my manager at Rice Sculptures Inc,” you’d also add, “My married name at the time was Sally Tyrell.”

4. My boss tries to guilt me into covering her closing shift

I work in a very small office (only me and my boss) so I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to handle it when my boss wants to leave early on the days that she’s supposed to close the office by herself. Since there are only two of us, we rotate our work days/times. Three days out of the week, I open the office at 8 a.m. and leave at 4:30 p.m., while my boss will come in at 9 a.m. and stay until closing at 5:30 p.m. We swap the other two days; my boss opens and I close. For the most part, our current schedule (my boss’s idea) works pretty well for us.

However, sometimes my boss randomly gets “sick” during work days that she’s supposed to close on and loudly complains and moans that she “feels so awful.” It’s obnoxiously obvious that she’s totally fine; she just wants to leave early.

I have absolutely no problem staying late if there’s a serious emergency that she has to take care of or if she’s truly sick (and not faking it) but I really don’t want to voluntarily stay late just so she can leave early – I have a life too! I always feel guilty not offering to close though. Do you have any suggestions for dealing with this?

If it’s pretty rare, I’d either ignore it (and try not to feel guilty — it’s only an hour) or offer a trade — “Do you want me to close for you today, and you’ll cover opening and closing on Wednesday?” (Note that would have her taking one of your shifts in exchange; it’s not just you doing hers with nothing in return.)

But if it’s frequent and you want to a way to get it to stop that isn’t one of the two options above, you could just bring it right out into the open: “Is our current system swapping opening and closing working for you? I know you sometimes don’t feel well and wish you could leave earlier. Would you rather I take more of the closing shifts and you take more of the opening ones?” (Obviously, don’t offer this if you wouldn’t be happy with that change.)

5. Does my company need to give me a cell phone if they’re giving them to others?

If everyone else at my level or above has a company-provided cell phone, can my organization say they won’t give me a cell phone because it is not necessary for me to do my job? Even if I know several employees do not need them for work? I process the bills so I know this as fact.

Yes, it’s perfectly reasonable for them not to provide you with a cell phone if it’s not necessary for your job. That’s true even if you think some of the other people who have them don’t really need them (apparently the company thinks that they do, even if those people aren’t using them much).

Frankly, you don’t want a company-issued cell phone, unless you want to be expected to be available around the clock.

{ 154 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Blurgle

    #4: Treat her as if she’s legitimately sick and proceed from there. I say this for two reasons:

    1. You are not her personal physician and you don’t know if you’re misreading the situation. There’s little more hurtful in a punch-in-the-face way than being disbelieved when you’re sick.

    2. She’s your boss. You may need her as a reference some day. If she is truly sick any attitude may/will come across as ableism; if she isn’t truly sick she may resent you for calling her out – and remember that someone who will lie about her health will lie about you too.

    Reply
    1. Artemesia

      I agree and think the counter ploy is to offer a trade; volunteer to switch — ‘Since you aren’t feeling well, why don’t we trade; I can cover opening and closing today if you can do them both on Thursday?’- Another approach is to have something scheduled right after work on the days you are off at 4:30. ‘I have my class (a regular appointment, plans ) and need to leave on time today.’ Maybe pre-empt by mentioning early in the day you have something right after work. I think you want to establish that you want to stick with the schedule and not be taken advantage of while treating her not feeling well as legitimate. Be sympathetic but not a doormat. I think you do that by not making it easy for her to just slough this off on you. Make her ask and be willing to ‘trade’.

      Reply
    2. Jade

      I’m curious if the boss is actually *asking* OP if she can go home early, or if OP is just assuming this is what she wants. If it’s the former, then boss needs to put on her big girl pants and explicitly ask/state they she would like to go home early because of her illness and work that out with OP. If if the latter, then if I were OP I’d just ignore the whining. She could be misinterpreting the situation- maybe boss doesn’t complain because she wants to leave early, but because a) she is actually sick, or b) likes the attention that feigning illness gets her.

      Reply
      1. Kelly L.

        Yeah, I think, whether the illness is true or false, the boss is hinting around, which is kind of annoying.

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        1. Hellanon

          There’s another solution, too: the boss says she’s leaving early, requests that the LW stay late to close, and the LW adds an hour of overtime to her time sheet. She is getting paid hourly, right?

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          1. Rusty Shackelford

            Except that’s not the problem. The LW isn’t complaining about not being paid for overtime, she’s complaining that she doesn’t WANT to work extra. Paid or not. (And also, there’s no reason to assume the LW is either non-exempt or hourly.)

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        2. TootsNYC

          I think it’s extra annoying, because I think that people who hint are very likely to also then say to themselves, ‘I don’t need to feel bad; I wasn’t imposing, because she OFFERED to stay later.”

          Not always, sure, especially with infrequent hinters. But people who hint a lot are really likely to do that mental “subtraction,” and then not understand why you’re objecting, or why you consider it an imposition. You must have -wanted- to do the closing shift!

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  2. Meg Murry

    For #2, how new are you? I know when I first started my current job, there were a lot of meetings that had already been scheduled that my boss wanted me to join in, but he hadn’t gone through Outlook and made a point of inviting me to all of them (and he’s not super tech savvy so I’d probably have to walk him through it for meetings where he wasn’t the organizer). It was annoying, but being new, I had a lot of downtime/training as others were available anyway. And I know we are still doing it to the newest hire now as well – I try to forward him meeting information I think he may want to attend if he has time, but we are definitely still doing the “Hey New Guy, there’s a Vendor ABC meeting in 5 minutes if you’re not busy.”

    Do you have one-on-one with him now? Or could you get in the habit of saying to him “I’m trying to plan out my week, so could we go over what meetings and events you think I should attend?” in addition to Alison’s lines about being a planner. If you are still really new and/or moderately junior I don’t know that I would be quite as forceful as Alison’s language about cutting off the meetings – I would probably phrase it in more of an ask, like “I had this afternoon blocked off to work on Project XYZ that is due on Thursday – is that a hard deadline, or is this meeting more important and should I push back the XYZ report to Friday?”

    It’s also quite likely he’s inviting you to some of these meetings as more of a training exercise, so you can meet people across the organization and get to know how the department works – once you are fully up to speed and have projects of your own the number of meetings you are asked to may taper off. You could also ask if he thinks you should be attending for the whole meeting or if he just wants to introduce you to the attendees.

    Of course, if your position is more of a day-to-day task basis instead of longer term projects this may be less relevant, as you may already be up to speed enough and have enough on your plate that meetings make it difficult to get things done. Or if you have been there a while or are already a veteran of the industry that hit the ground running. But whenever I’ve started a new job that had more of a long term project basis there was a very long, slow ramp up, and “hey, why don’t you come to the Teapot Production Team meeting since you’ll be covering it when I’m out” is pretty common.

    Reply
    1. MillersSpring

      I’m doing exactly this with a recent hire on my team. Especially during her first three weeks I invited her to a lot of meetings, often at the last minute, so that she could meet the people and hear the issues.

      Also, I’m concerned that the LW might come off as resistant to anything impromptu or spontaneous that interrupts her day and workflow. On a lot of teams, interruptions happen a lot, and you have to be able to shift gears. Asking how a new meeting or request should affect your deadline(s) is ideal, but you have to intuit it with your spidey senses. :) Tread carefully and use Alison’s suggested verbiage.

      Reply
      1. Doriana Gray

        + 1, especially the part about seeming resistant to anything impromptu/being flexible. I don’t know what industry OP’s in, but in my current one (risk management/insurance) and in a former one (law), being able to change gears quickly was a must. You could spend time planning your day down to the second the night before, then come in in the morning to an emergency and not touch your list at all. People who couldn’t/can’t work like that eventually had to leave.

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      2. irritable vowel

        The LW indicates that these meetings she hears about at the last minute are often several hours long. That’s a huge chunk of time out of your day when you were planning to get work done. And honestly, if a meeting is necessarily that long–as opposed to something that should take half that time or less but doesn’t because of dysfunction–that’s something that requires preparation. So the LW is either being asked to attend high-importance meetings like strategic planning sessions with zero time to prepare, or she’s being asked to waste time that could be better used at her desk. I don’t think she comes across as inflexible at all!

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        1. irritable vowel

          (Also, the fact that her complaint isn’t “my boss is telling me about these meetings at the last minute and I’m so unprepared” but “they take too much time out of my day” makes me think that the content of these meetings is probably not in proportion to the time they take. Unless her role is to take notes or something that doesn’t require active participation–that’s not clear.)

          Reply
  3. I am Number 3

    So, this answer gives me another question: do we not list supervisors’ names on resumes anymore? Because that’s how I’ve been formatting it: “Rice Sculptures, Inc. (Supervisor Fergus Fergusson)” with their direct line or extension listed. Also, how to account for online forms that ask you to fill in reference information? I’ve seen a few of those, and they just have boxes for the names and phone numbers and possibly “years known”.

    This came up because I took a volunteer position recently and whoever was checking my references apparently got confused about the multiple names. So at least one of my references told them “never heard of her.” Which, as you can imagine, was rather embarrassing! Honestly if I had to do it all over again I’d never have changed my name at all.

    Reply
    1. Apollo Warbucks

      No supervisor’s names don’t need to go on a resume and neither does the line “references available on request” if a prospective employer wants references they will ask.

      In addition to Alsion’s advice I would also contact you references to let them know you are remarried and have changed your name so they are aware of the change.

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      1. Elizabeth the Ginger

        It’s a good idea to give references a heads-up anyway even without any name changes – if this is someone who managed you seven years ago, they might not still have you fresh in their mind.

        Also, some people (ahem, including me) are bad with names. If I got a call about Sally Tyrell I might take a few minutes to put that together in my head with “oh yeah, the awesome teapot tester who helped solve problem X!” – and I might even confuse you with Sally Stark who was an intern for a summer.

        But if you emailed me a few days before and said “hey, I’m applying for jobs and put you as a reference. I hope you’re doing well – I still remember how much I learned from you on that tea cozy project!” – then you’ll be back in the front of my brain, and I’ll be ready to talk coherently about you if I get a call.

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        1. Development Professional

          I agree, totally. But I’m wondering what happens with the silent references that Alison is always suggesting that we (as hiring managers) check. I’ve been Consuela Bananahammock for a long time, but I’m getting married soon and I’ll be Consuela Jones. So, what happens when a hiring manager calls someone from a former company who they know personally to ask about me and they’ve never heard of Consuela Jones? I could see this happening before I’ve even had a chance to provide references. I know it’s always possible that they call someone and it turns out they didn’t know me, but what if they should, like they’re the department head? I’m sure I’m overthinking this, but it bugs me!

          Reply
          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            You don’t have to do it without the candidate’s knowledge. You can say, “Can you put me in touch with your manager from X job?” which would give them a chance to say “she knows me as Consuela Bananahammock.”

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          2. Student

            This was a factor when I decided to keep my name. Not in any way meaning you should, do what makes sense for you, but for me it wasn’t worth potentially losing credit for prior work in my field.

            Reply
      2. MillersSpring

        Agree completely for corporate America. Never put references on your resume. It looks presumptuous and out of touch with resume norms. For online forms, only include references if it’s a required field.

        Reply
    2. Job hunter

      What? I’ve never seen supervisor contact info included online in a resume. For starters, what do you do when the person moves on? Do somehow track them through their entire career? Also, it takes up valuable space on your resume… Better to list another accomplishment.

      Usually what happens is you provide references after the employer shows an interest, and only after talking to the people you want to act as references first.

      As to the online forms I have so real answer, as I am at a point in my career that being asked that much detail just to be able to submit my resume would be a show stopper.

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    3. NJ Anon

      I have never listed my supervisors’ names on my resume and, frankly, as a hiring manager, never seen it done. Also, on your current resume, use your current name otherwise it would be too confusing.

      Reply
      1. JD

        It used to be a somewhat more common regional practice here when you were starting out. They were basically just a quick character check when you got your career started. If you went to school and got a bunch of new skills, you have no real life experience with them, and I’ve found that they want to be able to just check references super quick.

        I’ve had potential employers call me and ask who my teachers were for certain classes because if you passed their class, you had the skills that they needed, so they would skip several interviews to check those skills and go straight to assessing if you would be a good fit.

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    4. katamia

      I’ve never listed supervisors’ names on my resume. I’ll put them into application forms if I really have to, but I try to avoid giving them because I haven’t had a real supervisor in awhile except in Asia (and I’m now back in the US, so good luck to anyone who wants to contact that supervisor with the time difference, haha).

      Reply
  4. Confused

    1. Is it true that 80% of job openings are never advertised?
    In my experience, this is true in the entertainment industry.
    I don’t know what the percentage is, but most people I know have only gotten jobs through word-of-mouth/friend-of-a-friend. Not necessarily even creative positions like “director” or “producer” etc…but positions like receptionist, assistant, or PR within an entertainment company.
    Job openings are generally not made public. Large entertainment companies will often post certain positions on their websites but it’s mostly for show. I only of one person, just ONE, who has gotten an interview/job by replying to an advertised job opening.
    Again, just my experience.

    Reply
    1. Mel

      Yep this is very true for our industry. In fact last summer I interviewed for a job that I wasn’t super interested in but was referred and advised to “take the meeting” anyway and i got the final round interview where my would-be boss told me that out of 500 online applications I had made the top 5. (Except I never applied online and I was a last minute “shoe-in”) In other words if the HR of the studio requires the job to be listed, the candidates that are considered usually come from direct recommendations and people who know people because the volume is just too ridiculous. I really do think this 80% statistic does apply to our industry. I’ve actually never gotten a job by a listing, always through personal recs.

      Reply
      1. Mreasy

        I work in another branch of entertainment, and while certain positions tend only to be hired via personal recommendation, we do always list and find candidates who are interesting both ways. And sometimes, you may know 9/10 qualified people, but it’s that 1 other who ends up surprising you – so even in those industries that are very “locked down” and tight-knit (e.g. I have previously worked with about 50% of the people at my 30-person company), if you have a stellar resume & dazzle in interview, you could absolutely triumph over known but less exciting candidates, though in my experience, in my field, it is also rare. (Flip side: no amount of paid consultants would help, either!)

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        1. Mreasy

          Ha! I just realized, also, that my own senior exec position was advertised (in a small industry publication), which is how I found out about it, as I hadn’t been looking actively prior to seeing the post! So yes, definitely not true for everything.

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      2. LD

        Yes, you got the job without finding it through an advertisement, but didn’t you also say that the job was posted online? So it worked really well for you, but not because the job wasn’t advertised at all. Your experience confirms how there is a lot of power in knowing people and having a good reputation in your industry.

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        1. Mel

          Right, but what I meant is that even when HR requires them to post the job, they often end up pulling from known candidates rather than unknowns from the online listing. What Florida said below is exactly right.

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    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      I think there are certainly some fields that are exceptions; my understanding is that the entertainment industry functions pretty differently in a lot of ways.

      Reply
      1. Mel

        Indeed!! It depends on who, what, where, when etc. as always, but it can definitely be it’s own animal! Somehow, though, your advice remains useful to me daily!

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    3. Marvel

      Came here to say exactly this! The entertainment industry is definitely an exception to the rule. I’m quite early in my career, so I’m applying to a lot of job postings and such right now (which is really normal for early theater professionals; not sure about film and other areas, which often work quite differently), but once you’ve built up your network my understanding is that it generally doesn’t happen.

      People say “it’s all about who you know” like it’s a bad thing, but really, it just means that you make a reputation for yourself and then finding work gets a lot easier.

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      1. Al Lo

        And the flip side to that is, “It’s all who knows you.” I also work in the theatre/live performing arts world, and there are definitely people I wouldn’t work with again, no matter how talented they are. I know that’s true in many industries, but certainly in areas where the work is so relationship-based.

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        1. Al Lo

          And also, of course, that if I know you, I’ll seek you out. For a contract design job, for instance (as opposed to an auditioned role), I’m usually not posting; I’m asking someone I already know and trust. Or I’m asking for recommendations from my circle. If they know you, I’m way more likely to be the one to contact you and ask you to consider the job.

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        2. S0phieChotek

          Al Lo — I agree 100% with you there, “It’s all who knows you” though I think that is true in all industries. (On paper you can seem great, but former co-workers know that….)
          I’ve also worked in live theater and there are two actors I’ve worked with that performed well on stage but had such attitude and poor work ethic behind stage (and one I vividly recall getting in a screaming match with the director about a week before opening), I would not be working with them again…!

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    4. Florida

      If large entertainment companies post positions on their website mostly for show than the jobs are, in fact, advertised. The statistic that is quoted (and is in question) is that 80% of jobs are not advertised. What you are saying is that many jobs in the entertainment field are advertised (even if that is only for show). It’s true that they might go to a person who did not apply in response to the job posting but the job opening itself is not a secret.

      I make this point only because the statistic is usually quoted to make it seem like there are millions of jobs that no one even knows about. Actually, we do know about them. They are right there on Teapot Productions’s website.

      Reply
      1. BuildMeUp

        Well, the entertainment industry does work through connections most of the time, though. Do some companies post some positions? Sure. But I have a lot of friends who work as crew members and I don’t think any of them get work by looking at job boards or anything. I think the closest to an actual job posting it gets with the smaller production companies is someone posting on Facebook hoping that someone in their network knows someone. Most of the time they will just get a text or an email from someone they’ve worked with before, or someone who’s worked with someone they’ve worked with before, asking if they’re free for a shoot.

        I can’t give numbers, obviously, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it averaged out that only 20% of jobs are actually posted somewhere. The entertainment industry just works differently than most other industries. This is excluding actors/models (most casting calls are posted somewhere, even if only for agents to see), and the number of posted jobs seems higher for theatre jobs, for whatever reason.

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      2. Confused

        I think you may have misread, large entertainment companies will often post certain positions…certain positions, but even the availability of most open positions is not made public/advertised. I’m saying most jobs are not advertised.

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    5. AnotherHRPro

      For #1, I think it depends on what you mean by job openings. If you count job openings that are filled internally, 80% might be close to accurate.

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    6. AdAgencyChick

      In my industry I wouldn’t say 80% are “never advertised” if placing the posting on an agency’s own website counts. But it wouldn’t at all be a stretch to say 80% are never placed on job boards. Other than entry-level gigs, it’s very hard to get a job in my niche of advertising without already having had some experience in that niche, so there’s no point in casting a wide net by posting on a general job board. Not saying no one can ever career-change into this industry, but it tends to happen because you’re in a related field (e.g., PR in the same niche), or because someone who already works in the industry is going to bat for you.

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    7. Charlotte Collins

      When I worked in retail, this was actually true for certain stores. Basically, high-end boutique-type stores often had plenty of applicants, so they didn’t bother to advertise most of the time. (They would occasionally recruit from other stores, though.) This was generally for entry-level, PT work. They did advertise for store managers, etc.

      Reply
    8. Stranger than fiction

      That makes sense for that industry, for sure, because just about anyone would want to work in such a glamorous (seeming, I’m sure it’s not as glamorous as it seems from the outside) industry. Otherwise, they’d probably get waaaaay too many resumes.

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    9. GH in SoCAl

      When I was starting out I was called to interview for a Producer’s Assistant position. They were pulling resumes from a stack that had been set into a PO Box for a Writer’s Assistant position that had been advertised months earlier. So the job I got was never advertised per se — and I never actually applied for it.

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    10. Melissa

      On the flip side, I work at a state government agency, and I’d say at least 95% of our jobs are publicly posted (even when they’re open to internal candidates only). The only reason I say 95% is that I’m not sure the executive positions get advertised the same way… and I’m pretty sure the director position is governor-appointed and senate-confirmed.

      Reply
  5. FD

    #1- I suspect this is very industry-dependent and I think it’s one of those BS statistics that obscure a larger truth.

    A friend of mine recently got a job that was never posted, because she had a long standing connection with the general manager. When the person who held the position resigned, she reached out to my friend to fill the role, and it was never advertised to the public because they had worked together before and the GM knew she would be perfect for the job. I’ve also seen it happen a lot for internal movies–a company looses a chocolate teapot specialist and they had planned to promote Jane into the next specialist role that opened up.

    On the other hand, a lot of companies require advertising roles even when they have internal candidates because they want to get the best possible candidate pool. In the fields I’m familiar with, Alison and the post she linked to are right–80% is way too high.

    However, it’s certainly true that networking can be very, very helpful in getting you new opportunities, because it’s common for someone to see a job and think, “Hey, Wakeen would be great for that job!” It doesn’t guarantee you the job, but it helps to have a recommendation, and 90% of the time, it’ll at least get you the interview. Of course, since that’s the same advice everybody has, it’s way easier to sell books/classes by promising you can show them how to access the secret world of unposted jobs.

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Yeah, the point is definitely not that you don’t shouldn’t bother networking, or that jobs don’t go unadvertised some of the time. They definitely do. It’s just that 80% is a crazy high figure with nothing backing it up, and it tends to freak out job seekers and makes them think they’ll never get jobs just from responding to ads. (And conveniently for some of the people who like to throw this this figure around, it can mean that people are more likely to pay for job hunting help because it makes it seem far less straightforward.)

      Reply
      1. Merry and Bright

        From the UK, I definitely agree with your last sentence. I’ve lost count of the articles I have read which tell you how huge the hidden jobs market is but then the writer says “But pay to come to my seminar and I will show you how to break into it!”

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      2. fishy

        “it tends to freak out job seekers and makes them think they’ll never get jobs just from responding to ads.”

        Yes, this is exactly what happened to me! When I started looking for my first job out of school, all the advice I was getting implied that it was essentially useless to apply to posted ads and that the ONLY way to get a job is through networking. But networking is almost impossibly hard for me (thanks, social anxiety disorder), so that “advice” only left me in complete despair and convinced me that I’d never be able to find a job. Thank you for debunking this myth; it really helps me feel a lot less pessimistic about my job hunt.

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      3. LBK

        I also dislike it because it promotes the “corporate world is a scam intended to screw the people at the bottom as much as possible” narrative. There’s plenty of legitimate reasons for a role to get filled without being advertised, probably the most common being that there’s an internal candidate who’s a good fit. How many letters have we seen here where people felt hurt or overlooked because a promotion they thought they deserved got listed publicly? It can’t work both ways.

        Reply
    2. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.

      It’s somewhat true in a narrow slice of teapot industry jobs, primarily teapot suppliers, either more senior positions or supplier sales jobs. People look to jump suppliers or to fill positions from people at other suppliers by a lot of “calling around”. I’m my own mini-network, since I’m ancient and know everybody. I get a couple calls a month from people either looking to fill or looking to jump, asking me who is looking or who is available.

      Even then I don’t think the stat gets to 80% as there are industry job resources that more than 20% of the positions get posted in. (Probably 100% of those jobs don’t get posted widely, like on Career Builder or such.)

      The vast majority of teapot jobs though are filled through traditional advertising. How would 80% work anyway? That would be exhausting! Even if I had virtual reams of unsolicited amazing resumes at my fingertips, what would I do, just have somebody call through them and describe the job and ask the person if they are still looking for work?

      Once in awhile we pick somebody up before a job is advertised but it wouldn’t make any sense as a broad practice.

      Reply
      1. Not the Droid You Are Looking For

        It would be exhausting!

        Even when I know people who would be perfect, or have a former candidate I think might be interested, I ping them and ask them to apply. I couldn’t imagine just calling around every time I had an opening!

        Reply
    3. Florida

      “I suspect this is very industry-dependent and I think it’s one of those BS statistics that obscure a larger truth.”

      I think all job-related statistics are industry-dependent. That’s the nature of averages. You hear statistics like, “The average salary of working Americans is $50,000.*” There are fields where a starting salary is $60,000 so not a single person in that industry is making $50,000. But other industries where they would never dream of making as much as $50,000.

      Averages always obscure a larger truth.

      *I made up this statistic. Don’t trust it.

      Reply
    4. Xay

      “I suspect this is very industry-dependent and I think it’s one of those BS statistics that obscure a larger truth.”

      Agreed. In my field, the vast majority of jobs are advertised but it is very common for candidates to be recruited or identified through networking, making it unlikely for applicants with no existing relationship to even be selected for an interview. So even though the jobs are advertised, it’s misleading to think that simply applying is enough to get hired.

      Reply
    5. SystemsLady

      It’s definitely not that high, but in my industry, where people go from a site to being a contractor back to a site (or other way around) it definitely happens. Maybe 25% – at most – are filled during the asking around before listing it stage.

      I’ve seen that 80% statistic used to justify pulling silly networking gimmicks and in all of the cases I know where an opening was filled at those stage…precisely none of those gimmicks (or even something like sending a LinkedIn request) would’ve gotten you an “in” before the job was posted. You’ve either worked with the person hiring (or a friend of yours they particularly trust has) and they like you/have found a way to contact you, or you haven’t and you would have to had waited until they listed the job anyway.

      There is no sense fussing about unlisted jobs you haven’t already heard about, at least in industries like mine (and I assume most actually hire that way *less*). Spend your energy building your network the standard way and applying for entries that *are* listed.

      Reply
    6. Jimbo

      I think it also depends on the company. I work for a Fortune 500 company and our HR department pushes managers to fill positions through word of mouth to reduce costs. I told my neighbor I worked here and he literally didn’t believe me because he has been trying to get in for a decade (I was hired out of town and then moved here). As you could probably guess, we end up with pretty much all white men in their 30’s, mostly from the same colleges. It is tough to even find a non-white face in the 400+ employees at HQ. Now that the economy is bouncing back (in many areas), we have a ton of open positions so we are finally publicly advertising jobs and getting a better and more diverse pool of candidates.

      Reply
  6. Elizabeth the Ginger

    I think the myth of 80% also gets repeated by people who are having trouble finding a job and like to latch on to explanations for why.

    Reply
    1. Kelly L.

      And I feel like it’s pre-internet. I would bet it came from the days when it was all newspaper ads, and maybe some companies didn’t bother taking out an ad, and even if they did, it might not be in the specific paper you’d read.

      Reply
        1. Kelly L.

          And when I clicked through to the article Alison mentions, he’s not even counting jobs that were only posted on the company’s own site, just jobs that they paid to advertise–he draws a distinction between publicizing and advertising. So even within his “not advertised” bucket, there are a lot of jobs that were publicized for free.

          Reply
          1. Kyrielle

            …well, that may explain how he got to 80%, given all the ways to *publicize* a job without paying. Heh.

            Reply
            1. Kelly L.

              Well, he says the 80% is bunk and it’s really more like 30-something, but yeah, I think even that overstates the situation. He talks about situations where it still does apply, like when a business is trying to replace someone in secret, or when the hiring manager thinks up the job in their head and then thinks of someone they want to hire, all before it ever leaves the manager’s brain.

              Reply
      1. Dynamic Beige

        I remember those pre-internet days. The Careers section was huge in the paper, but now, just a page or two. Newspaper ads aren’t cheap so I can see how it would be easier to say to everyone on the floor “we’ve need someone who can operate a forklift. Anybody know someone who can do that?” And then letting word spread or someone would probably be able to say that they know $ThisGuy from when they worked at OtherCompany and he’s out of work.

        With the internet, you can post your job on your website, costs next to nothing, seen by potentially more people, easier to share. Hell, I’ve gotten several people interested in working for me just by registering a new domain name. No advertising even required. And I wasn’t looking to hire anyone! Oh wait… that’s spam :P

        Reply
    2. BRR

      This is how I feel about a lot of job hunting advice. When people are having trouble finding a job quickly there has to be some explanation. It’s not possible that there materials aren’t good, they’re not the most qualified (especially for what they’re applying for), their industry is a buyers market etc.

      Reply
    3. Construction Safety

      I used Monster & Career Builder in the early days. My opinion then was that 90% of the listed jobs didn’t exist at all. It was just headhunters/agencies mining for resumes should they ever get a client.

      Reply
      1. Merry and Bright

        That still seems to go on over here inbthe UK. I did get two interviews from Monster but most of the sites are harvesting tools. Certainly the “Let employers find you” bit is pretty thin. Mostly it is loan sharks and other scammers and, of course, agencies on shopping trips. My success with them has come from my own applications through them.

        Reply
      2. Kelly L.

        I’ve talked about this before–there was a supposed job opening where I called the number it gave, and it turned out to be a temp agency that wasn’t really trying to fill that specific job at all, but just wanted me to be on call for all sorts of businesses. Thing was, I’d been interested in that specific job because of the field and the location, while the bulk of the temp agency’s clients were actually really far from me geographically to the point that I wasn’t interested. So annoying.

        Reply
        1. Elizabeth West

          I ran into that a few years ago–there was an independent agency that claimed it had jobs in the manufacturing and construction industry (office positions, etc.) but they never had any real listings. I wonder what they did or if they did anything at all.

          Reply
        2. Stranger than fiction

          Ha, just yesterday, my sister and niece said they were both contacted about a customer service position for direct tv. Turns out, they’re telling people its internal then when you show up to interview you find out its for people to stand in a booth at Walmart :-/

          Reply
      3. Allison

        Yup, and I fell for one of those in my early days. Granted, it wasn’t listed as a specific job, it just said “nonprofit jobs available!” and I applied, but they had me go in for an “interview” knowing they didn’t have any openings relevant to my background or what I wanted to do, just so they could get more information about me for their database.

        Reply
      4. Just Another Techie

        Monster was a cesspit, unless you were part of an alumni network that paid big bucks to get a custom Monster interface just for their students/alums.

        Reply
      5. Mike C.

        Monster & Career Builder are absolute trash. I can’t tell you have many shitty recruiters kept bugging me about fry cook jobs just because the word “food” appears on my resume.

        Reply
  7. BeenThere

    #5 avoid a company cell phone for as long as possible! It is always a sign they you are expected to be on all the time.

    Previous job was billed as a programming role, then on day one I was surprised and disappointed to be issued a Blackberry as this implied I would be doing support as well. Now because I am senior enough I never listed the number in the directory or directed my desk phone to it. When it was later switched to an iPhone I used the do not disturb mode aggressively. Essentially I was taking the beg for forgiveness rather than ask for permission approach.

    There were a few missed called however it was never raised as an issue and I was always in the top set of performers. So either I was a given a pass because I did the other parts of my job really well or my spineless toxic manager was too scared to bring it up with me because it really wasn’t part of my role.

    Reply
    1. Alice 2

      My father worked for the government before he retired, and waaaay back when, they issued him a pager. He did not want to be available outside the office. So he ‘accidentally’ dropped the pager in the toilet. They never replaced it.

      (not recommended, just a funny anecdote)

      Reply
    2. Mallory Janis Ian

      Yes, the implication of a company-paid device is that you are now available around the clock. My current boss tried to give my predecessor his old tablet when he got a new one, but HR and the tech center wouldn’t let him do it because of the implications for expectations of overtime (we’re non-exempt, salaried employees).

      Reply
    3. MashaKasha

      Yes +100%.

      Though, in fairness, at my current place of work, everyone’s personal cell number is on record, available for the rest of the team to view, and yes it’s with the expectation that we should be available at all hours in case of an emergency. But I can count on my one hand the number of times I was called during the off hours in the three years I’ve been here.

      I had a company-issued phone at OldJob and that was because I was on call 24×7… never again. Also, with a company-issued phone, your employer has the right to limit what you can install/do on your phone. I wouldn’t want that for myself, personally.

      Reply
    4. CC

      It could also be a sign that you’ll be travelling for work a lot instead. That’s what my previous job’s company-provided blackberry was for: not only was I away from my desk for the entire work day or work week so I needed a mobile phone, but the sites often didn’t have internet access for my laptop so I needed mobile email. It was pretty normal for me to only have internet access when I got back to the hotel at night.

      Reply
  8. Mando Diao

    OP4: This situation is ringing my “toxic small businesses” bell. If your boss is playing this game with you, I don’t trust her to be reasonable about it when you bring it up, even if you broach the subject by giving her the benefit of the doubt. How are you tracking hours? If you’re working more than 40 hours by virtue of clocking an extra hour for closing without balancing that somewhere else, I’d say you’re working for a boss who isn’t as informed as she needs to be. It’s a two-person business; you’re likely not exempt, even if your boss says you’re “salaried.”

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I don’t think we have any reason to believe the OP isn’t being paid any overtime she’s due though. I mean, it’s possible, but I don’t think anything in the letter touches on that.

      Reply
      1. Mando Diao

        That’s true, but I thought it was worth bringing up. At my previous job at a very small business, we were all working unpaid overtime, and no one realized it was wrong. My boss said we were “salaried” and that was that. It’s surprising how many people don’t know the difference between “salaried” and “exempt,” and that there are very strict (and serious) laws concerning hourly employment. Like…lots of people honestly don’t know that time-and-a-half for hours beyond 40 is the LAW. Bosses who go into businesses for themselves never learn this information because they never seek it out, and employees who’ve gotten all of their experience at small businesses would never happen upon this information.

        Reply
        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          That is certainly true. I’m just not sure there’s reason to think it applies here and don’t want to get off-topic of the letter, but yeah, there’s widespread misinformation/lack of knowledge on it.

          Reply
          1. Mando Diao

            I guess I thought it might be a good factoid for OP to keep in her back pocket in case her boss isn’t receptive to a respectful line of conversation. “Sometimes this has caused me to run over 40 hours a week, and I’ve just learned that since I’m not exempt, I need to be paid for those hours at 1.5 times my normal wage.” I don’t want to get into quibbles where we’re arguing with someone over whether she’s legitimately sick, so sometimes it’s easier to say, “Hey, did you know that this is actually illegal?”

            Reply
  9. Katie the Fed

    #4 – I would really try hard to focus on the behaviors and how they impact you, rather than the cause of the manager asking you to switch shifts. Because I have to be honest, this isn’t cool:

    “However, sometimes my boss randomly gets “sick” during work days that she’s supposed to close on and loudly complains and moans that she “feels so awful.” It’s obnoxiously obvious that she’s totally fine; she just wants to leave early.”

    I know it’s easy to assume things like that, but there’s no way you would know for sure, and it’s generally just better to not get in the business of judging other people’s sickness or pain (especially when they don’t work for you!). There could be a hundred legitimate maladies that are making her feel that way – chronic pain and illness are really hard to live with. Or she could be making it up and going home to watch Saved by The Bell reruns.

    But it really wouldn’t make a shred of difference in your situation right now unless you’re willing to discuss the impact it’s having and what you’d like to change.

    Reply
    1. hbc

      Very true. It may be 100% correlated to her late-closing days, but that still doesn’t mean she’s faking. She might be unconsciously working herself into actual nausea or headaches because she hates that extra hour or some other aspect of closing. The brain is a funny thing.

      Someone who is faking is not going to take well to being called out, and someone who isn’t faking is going to be pretty insulted. So focus on the effect, not the (likely) cause.

      Reply
    2. Doriana Gray

      I know it’s easy to assume things like that, but there’s no way you would know for sure, and it’s generally just better to not get in the business of judging other people’s sickness or pain

      This. I’m sure to most people, I look incredibly healthy due to my build. However, my celiac disease frequently causes stomach problems for me and oftentimes gives me severe joint pain that makes it hard to sit for long periods of time. People tend to blow off my illnesses all the time as “not that big a deal” or not real, and it pisses me off. Invisible disabilities are a thing.

      Reply
        1. Doriana Gray

          Yup, lol. People always think I’m on some fad diet until I bring up the fact that I was hospitalized three times because of it.

          Reply
    3. Florida

      This is a great point. It really doesn’t matter if the boss is really sick or faking it or just sick of being at work. The only thing that matters is the OP has to stay late, and that is the problem to deal with.

      Reply
    4. Allison

      Agreed. Many people have chronic illnesses or pain disorders they don’t like to talk about, but cause them to feel awful a lot. Now, it would be ideal if they were able to manage their symptoms so they could get through the day with no issues, but that’s not always possible or realistic. I have a friend dealing with peripheral neuropathy and she often feels sick, constantly going to doctors offices and ending up in the ER from time to time. The compassionate thing to do is assume she’s being honest about how sick she feels.

      Reply
      1. JessaB

        The issue isn’t actually whether or not she’s ill. The issue is the lack of warning about needing the OP to close and the passive aggressive attempts to make the OP step up and volunteer.

        A: this is a boss, if they want someone to stay they should say so.

        B: if the current arrangement is not working for the boss, they have the option to reassign OP to closing (at which point the OP has the option to say no way, bye.)

        C: it’s actually on the boss to make sure that stuff is covered and sick or not, wanting to work it or not, doesn’t matter, the fact is the schedule is a problem.

        Reply
  10. Champagne_Dreams

    My company has basically the opposite problem, advertising piles of jobs that aren’t really real. As a federal subcontractor, we are forced to advertise every single opening. But we recently ran statistics against all our requisitions in 2015…

    About 50% of the jobs were created specifically to promote a particular person or move a particular person from one department or location to another. Of the remaining half, about 25% of that remainder had temps in the job already that they were looking to convert to permanent, and another 5% had an external candidate already identified — either a rehire or an industry referral. So…. that’s a lot of jobs out there collecting resumes for no reason.

    All y’all submitting resumes and feeling mystified why you don’t get called in… I’m sorry. I hate that. ^^

    Reply
    1. The Alias Gloria Has Been Living Under, A.A., B.S.

      I think a lot of companies do that. My husband got a promotion in December but they had to post for it before they could give it to him officially. They even did interviews, including one of his coworkers. He felt bad, especially for his coworker. Not sure if they did external interviews though.

      Reply
      1. KH

        Yes, the job I have now is one that was required to be posted for 21 days, but as I’d been contracting in the position for the previous 3 years, I was already the chosen candidate. Regardless, my boss had to post it and had to interview a minimum of 3 people. There actually was a slim chance that I could lose out to an excellently qualified internal candidate, but luckily no one with my particular level of expertise and experience applied. I did later find out that there were 360+ applicants for the one position.

        Reply
      2. Granite

        This actually worked out in one case I know of. There was an unexpected second internal candidate, and while he didn’t get the job over the person who’d been doing it unofficially, his applying got some attention from Sr Management. They hadn’t realized he was looking for new challenges, and they didn’t want to lose him, so found a way to given him a different promotion. One of those you may not get what you asked for, but you might still get what you need.

        Reply
    2. Xay

      This too. And some federal contractors advertise positions for contracts that they haven’t won but aren’t honest with applicants that the position is contingent on the win.

      Reply
  11. KH

    #3 – Definitely overthinking this one. :)

    I changed my name after my divorce. Like my WHOLE name. First, middle, last. So not only do I have Janie L Maidenname and Janie L Marriedname, I also have Margie K Wholenewname. I don’t put anything on my resume except my current legal name. When and if the time comes for someone to call references, I let people know that I worked elsewhere under another name. Some people ask about it and some don’t. It’s never a big deal because I don’t let it be a big deal.

    People will react to it based on your response/attitude. If you act like it’s weird or something to be ashamed of, then they’ll react to that. If you treat it as a perfectly normal occurrence, they’ll do the same.

    Reply
    1. Countess Boochie Flagrante

      Ayup. I changed my whole hog legal name last year, not because of marriage/divorce/etc, but just because I really frickin’ wanted to. Before that, I was living with my new first name but still using my old last name. So there was a progression of Flora Duck, Boochie Duck, Boochie Flagrante that people knew me as.

      Reply
    2. Stranger than fiction

      Just curious though, don’t employers generally run the background check using your social security number? If so, all your names will come up. At least that’s what I always thought. I’m divorced and never even thought to mention it. I’m sure the Op is mostly concerned with when they actually call, however.

      Reply
      1. I am Number 3

        Yes, I’m concerned about the call. Like I said upthread, this just happened where a reference honestly had no idea who I was when they were contacted. Of course I’d spoken to my reference beforehand, but she knew me for years as Sally Tyrell and just didn’t remember that my name had changed.

        Reply
        1. KH

          I think the answer here is that when you touch base with your references letting them know that someone is likely to call, remind them that your name has changed since you worked with them. Kills two birds with one stone. :)

          Reply
  12. The Other Dawn

    RE: #2

    I’m not clear as to whether these meetings are at odds with OP’s work style, or are actually causing her to fall behind in her work and not meet deadlines.

    If it’s the former, I think she needs to be more flexible, especially as the new person. There are lots of things that come up in a work day that are at odds with how I work, but I do them because it’s part of the job. She can probably push back on some meetings, but not all. If it’s the latter, I think there’s a lot more room for pushback.

    Also, as someone else said, if she’s new, she’s probably being invited to all these meetings as a way to get acclimated and start being involved. That’s been the norm in my company, and at my past jobs, especially if I’m part of the management team.

    Reply
  13. Sigrid

    While I fully believe the busting of that 80% myth, I will say that the last four engineers my husband has hired (so, four out of his six direct reports) have not come through job postings. It’s always gone something like this:

    Mr. Sigrid: We are so overworked!! We need to hire more people!!
    Me: Why don’t you post some job openings? And then hire people?
    Mr. Sigrid: Yes, we really should do that.
    Mr. Sigrid: *does not do that*
    *meanwhile*
    Someone Mr. Sigrid knows: Hey, I know this really great engineer who’s looking for work, do you have any openings?
    Mr. Sigrid: OH THANK HEAVENS, AN ENGINEER, WE NEED TO HIRE MORE PEOPLE.
    Mr. Sigrid: *hires person* (after suitable interviews, reference checks, etc., but still)

    Does this count as “job openings that are never posted”? Because they’ve never been official job openings — if they were, they would have been posted, his company has an HR department to do that kind of thing — but they are certainly people who have gotten hired without going through a job posting.

    Reply
  14. LakeFisher

    So I shouldn’t have my maiden name on my resume?

    I have a lot of accomplishments that pop up on the first page if you google my maiden name … does that change whether I should remove it? Also my email still has my maiden name. It’s actually confused some hiring managers whose outlook automatically processes my gmail to LakeFisher Maiden when my resume says LakeFiser Married (Formerly LakeFisher Maiden).

    Reply
    1. Katie the Fed

      Only if you’re really newly married. Otherwise can you use your maiden name as your middle name?

      Reply
        1. Oryx

          Yup, my maiden name is very German and very long. It would be super weird as a middle name, but I like it as a last name and is one of many reasons I will not be changing it if/when I marry.

          Reply
    2. Artemesia

      I took my husband’s name in my first marriage (back then it was VERY unusual not to do so) and I used my maiden name as my middle name. That way it was obvious what had happened. Of course this was before the internet and back when the kind of resume paper you used was a big deal. When I divorced, I took back my name and did not change it for my second marriage; it was unusual even then not to do that especially in the south where I ended up working, but it worked for us and I am so glad I did it.

      Reply
    3. LakeFisher

      My legal name does not include my maiden name as the middle name .. so shouldn’t I keep my resume verbatim to my legal name?

      Reply
    4. Meg Murry

      I would change your from name on Gmail to LakeFisher Maiden Married so that hiring managers know who they are getting messages from. I did that after I got married and left it that way for a year or two. You can change it by going to settings ->Accounts and Import -> Send mail as, and then edit the name that is there.

      It’s not super elegant, but I was applying for jobs immediately after I changed my name in a field that absolutely does informal “hey, do you know Meg?” reference checks before formally asking for them, so I added a line to my resume or cover letter that said something to the effect of “Positions and degrees held before June 2015 were under the name Margaret Maiden” or something along those lines.

      Reply
    5. Student

      If you go by your married name instead of your maiden name, why on earth haven’t you just gotten another gmail account? You can have one of them forward to the other, so you don’t need to check both separately.

      Reply
  15. Allison

    #1, it’s definitely a myth, but it depends on the industry. I can tell you that in the software development jobs, we want pretty much all of our open positions to have as much visibility as possible, having secret jobs has absolutely no benefit for us. Thinking a company has secret jobs is like thinking the store has more in the back, saved for the customers who care enough to ask. Chances are, what you see is what they have, and while it doesn’t hurt to ask, you shouldn’t ask under the assumption that the answer will be yes. No “wink wink nudge nudge,” no tone that suggests you know how things reeaaally work. Really, unless it’s a company you’re dying to work for, you’re better off applying for a job they have.

    Reply
    1. Allison

      THAT SAID, posting jobs to third party sites usually costs money. My company does get unlimited postings on a couple sites, but for the most part, websites like Monster and LinkedIn charge big bucks to let people post their jobs. So some companies have jobs that are only posted on their website but nowhere else because their recruiting budget is limited.

      Reply
    2. Kelly L.

      Oh man, the back! That brings back memories. I can’t imagine how cavernous the back rooms of stores would have to be, for all that sekrit merchandise to hide in them. I think most retail workers just went back there and killed a few minutes to placate the customer.

      But gumption!

      Reply
      1. Artemesia

        I have gotten what I wanted by asking if they had more stock in the back countless times; often there is merchandise that has not yet been put out. Yes, take no for an answer, but if you don’t ask you may not get the size or color you want.

        Reply
        1. Allison

          Oh I agree it rarely hurts to ask, but there’s a difference between a shot and the dark ask (“hey, do you have this in a size 6?” ) and acting like you KNOW they have more in the back and accusing the sales associate of lying when they say “I’m sorry, we really are sold out.” Sometimes the associate has already been asked to check a few times already and they really do know off the top of their head that there aren’t any in stock.

          Reply
          1. Kelly L.

            And like many other things, it might have been more true at one time, but stores are more into just-in-time ordering now, and just don’t keep a lot of inventory on hand. If somebody just bought all the teapots on the shelf, they just don’t have any more teapots until the next order comes in.

            Reply
          2. SophieChotek

            Yes, true! I still work in a retail/service industry (store discounts never hurt!) and it never hurts to ask — at least at my store — because while we do keep our inventory order really tight–we don’t order lots of extra–a lot of the other employees I work with aren’t great at restocking–they just move things around to make the shelves look more full, so if there is something specific a customer wants, it never hurts to ask (nicely) because we actually might have it, too.

            Reply
        2. Stranger than fiction

          Me too, but mostly at trader joes. I’ve never had that luck with clothing, but they’ll at least check other locations or take my number for when they get more in.

          Reply
      2. Michelenyc

        When I worked retail we definitely did do that to customers that would not stop insisting that we did have more in the back when we knew with 100% certainty that nope we have no additional stock in that item. It drove me nuts.

        Reply
      3. bkanon

        I would sometimes do this because of Oprah. She didn’t give any pre-warning of her New! Favorite! Book!, so inevitably we had one or two copies max. Sold before the show was over. No, we don’t have more. I promise I’ve already looked. Believe me, corporate is already scrambling to get all of the stores more copies.

        I would try to be kind about it for most customers, but the ones who said “you better go look again, missy!”, well. There were a lot of things I could do in those five minutes.

        Reply
        1. Allison

          When I worked at Borders we had the “in stock guarantee,” so customers could order a book to be delivered to the store free of charge if we didn’t have it. Sounds convenient, right? No! They needed the book RIGHT AWAY! Their kids were going to camp tomorrow, for the whole summer, and they need their summer reading books right now! How dare we not have them?? In hindsight, I should have mentioned they can get the book ordered, pick it up, and then mail it to the kid in a care package.

          Gah, getting off topic!

          Reply
  16. Laura Dowler

    Question related to #1: I believe that jobs are advertised and posted, but I have a hard time finding quality listings online. For my industry (libraries) there are a few industry specific boards that I use, but I’m also trying to branch out and apply to non-library positions. Since I don’t have a specific industry in mind beyond non-profit and/or direct service to the community, I would like to get an idea of what is available in my area that might match my skills as a weigh a career change. I keep reading that nobody actually posts on the big job search engines, but for someone who is looking at the job market more broadly, I don’t know where else to look. Is there anything else I can do besides find organizations that I’m interested in and regularly check their websites? I worry that if I’m unfamiliar with an organization, I won’t know to check their website and therefore miss out on jobs I might be qualified for.

    Reply
    1. SophieChotek

      For library positions, have you signed up for state/county/city alerts for job postings? I am signed up for mine–I’m not even seriously looking right now but I like to see what is posted–and I sometimes see local library positions for mine. And then I don’t have to remember to periodically check the boards, because I get emailed jobs notices.

      Reply
      1. Laura Dowler

        I do get the alerts, and have a pretty solid list of additional websites I check for jobs. TBH, I don’t really have a problem finding where to look for library jobs, my main problem is that the openings in my area are few and far between (with the exception of for-profit colleges, and given my last job experience I know I would be miserable working in that sector.) I’m coming to terms with the reality that since I am limited by geography, another librarian gig might not happen. This is particularly challenging to me because I’ve never had to seriously look beyond the library profession and I feel lost in this job market. And to avoid going off on a tangent, I will add that I think that statistic about 80% of jobs not being advertised keeps getting passed around because when you are looking for a job it’s the kind of thing that certainly feels true, even if it is not.

        Reply
    2. Oryx

      I’d second SophieChotek’s suggestion for library positions. Also, if you live and/or want to work in an area where there is a LIS program nearby see if you can get on their Listserv or check to see if the grad program’s website has any job postings.

      Reply
    3. Paige Turner

      This is only a small suggestion, but if you get those emails from LinkedIn that say “Company X is looking for people like you!” and it has four or five job postings, what you can do is make a note of those companies/employers, even if you don’t end up applying for that specific job. So, The American Teapots Association may be hiring for a position that isn’t the best fit for you, but now you can add them to your list and check their website for more openings. Good luck with your search :)

      Reply
      1. Laura Dowler

        That’s actually a really good idea. I get LinkedIn updates and a variety of other updates, so I really think this could work. It’s at least something that I haven’t been doing, which will me make feel less like I’m just treading water.

        Reply
    4. Lindsay J

      I don’t know if this is one of the places you have been looking, but I’ve had a lot of success with Indeed; it’s more of a search engine than a job board in that it indexes jobs from a lot of company web-sites, etc. Almost all of the jobs I have seen listed there have been real jobs rather than the crappy fake resume collection postings or “work-at-home” opportunites that are advertised on like Monster and places like that.

      For non-profit jobs, Idealist has job listings, though how up-to-date and how many there are will vary greatly by location. If you live in a larger city you might try searching “volunteer [your city]”. My city has a couple websites where they list a lot of different volunteering opportunites in the area. Sometimes these websites have job postings as well. If they don’t, you might check out the websites of the companies that are searching for volunteers (usually there are links to the website if one is available) to see if they have any job openings.

      Reply
      1. Uyulala

        That’s the one I like too, great for the tech jobs that are all posted on the individual company sites.

        Reply
      2. Hillary

        I ended up using Indeed pretty much exclusively during my last job search, and I’m now in a role that I found through it (originally posted on CareerBuilder of all places). I saved searches for the companies I was interested in plus keywords for my areas of expertise. There were some weird hits from some oddly written job descriptions, but overall it was a good experience.

        Reply
      3. Laura Dowler

        I do find the quality of indeed’s listing to be far above any of the others, and it’sthe one I use regularly. I’m happy to see that your suggestions are mostly what I’ve been doing, so that tells me I’m on the right path.

        Reply
  17. animaniactoo

    #4 – you might want to address it from a completely different angle if you’re not willing to kill the swapping you currently do.

    “Cersei, you’ve haven’t been feeling well a lot lately. Have you been to see a doctor about it?” and following up with the idea of getting checked out because there might be something bigger going on.

    If she’s been faking to get out of closing, one of two things will likely happen: She’ll cut it out because she’ll realize she’s overdoing it, or she’ll go and get “diagnosed” with something that means she’ll often not feel well (in which case, you address the “effect” on you, and “how can we work around this?”).

    If she hasn’t been faking it, she may be the resistant to the idea of getting checked out because she doesn’t like doctors and thinks it’s not such a big deal. But, it will likely come across solely as the concern you frame it as and she won’t think anything more of it. And might even go get checked out.

    Less likely in either case is she’ll have a meltdown accusing you of accusing her of faking it. Which you combat simply with “No, no, I’m just concerned about you!”

    Reply
    1. Stranger than fiction

      That’s interesting and guess it depends how comfortable she is with her boss. But, I’m not really seeing what the big deal here is. Assuming she gets an hour lunch, her normal shift is only 7.5 hours, staying an extra hour only puts her at 8.5 hours. The boss gets more flexibility ’cause she’s the boss. If it conflicts with an after work activity, then that’s fair to consider.

      Reply
  18. Countess Boochie Flagrante

    she’ll go and get “diagnosed” with something that means she’ll often not feel well (in which case, you address the “effect” on you, and “how can we work around this?”).

    Were the scare quotes really necessary?

    Reply
    1. animaniactoo

      Probably not the last 2 (since that’s exactly how you’d handle it if she is not faking and does end up getting diagnosed with something that’s an “invisible” disorder). But absolutely for the 1st one since in that portion of my post, I’m talking about the real dynamic where someone takes something they’re faking one step further to keep it going.

      Reply
      1. animaniactoo

        please note, quotes in my last reply were meant to address the category of such very real disorders, not to indicate sarcasm or scare or anything like that.

        Reply
    2. Yogi Josephina

      I don’t see anything in that post that those quotes were meant to “scare.” People use quotation marks all the time when they have to quote someone who isn’t being honest about something, or when they otherwise have to play a game depending on office politics. Nothing really out of the ordinary there.

      Reply
  19. LadyTL

    In regards to #1, it could be region specific too. I live in a fairly small city/town that is somewhat rural/isolated (on a large island) that does not do alot of internet job posting at all mostly due to alot of people either not having access or not wanting access. So here I could easily see 75-80% of jobs not being posted since so many places do just take walk in drop off of resumes or it’s by word of mouth.

    Reply
  20. NicoleK

    #2. Boss at Old Job was like this. Often she’ll tell me she wants me to participate in a meeting the day before or the day of. That was just her mo. She was that way with everyone. Hopefully, that’s not your boss since you like process and structure.

    Reply
  21. R2D2

    #1: When people talk about never advertised jobs, whether with bogus statistics or the more vague “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, what they are trying to explain in a round-a-bout way is that a lot of hiring is done based on social class. I think the round-a-bout way it’s talked about in the U.S. at least is a legacy of the Cold War… officially everyone is supposed to be middle-class, after all. :)

    I think there’s also a bit of an ideological issue at work, too. In theory, businesses who don’t hire for merit first and foremost are supposed to be purged through free-market competition. So if we acknowledge that there are in fact businesses that are doing quite well from hiring for “cultural fit” first and merit second, that sort of shines an uncomfortable light on certain market inefficiencies that are hard to talk about.

    Reply
  22. my two cents...

    #5 – you’re seeing the ‘free phone’ as a privilege, when it’s actually a HUGE burden for the employee. you do not want a company phone.

    not only will you be expected to be available 24/7, but the phone and the number are company property – to be forfeited and returned upon your departure. also, it allows your company direct access to everything you type/call/search with the company-owned property.

    I’ve known some colleagues to use their work phone as their primary cell phone. As for me, I gotta keep ’em separated. (and now I have Offspring stuck in my head)

    Reply
  23. B

    #5 – My former employer used to ensure each member of staff had the latest iPhone. Bear in mind that this was a small company, with the majority of employees never leaving the office or speaking to clients.

    The phones never got used and were regularly smashed when dropped (they didn’t work to fork out for covers or insurance…).

    This was the same company who wouldn’t fork out on a server (or way to share any files at all) because “companies don’t use servers any more”.

    Reply

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