The great job-application illusion?

is the conventional advice given to job-seekers misleading?

Are you only going to get the job if you were personally recommended for the position or know your employer?

The farce of job applications?

In the last six years I have trawled job websites etc. and applied for tens of positions I found there. Each application has probably taken a full day of work on average.  All these applications resulted in only one interview and not a single job, and effectively cost me many hundreds of pounds in lost time. (I also had two interviews where I knew the employers, but in both cases I believe the positions went to people who also knew the employers.)

By contrast, I have had five jobs (or more, if you count writing jobs) that have come to me through my website, personal contacts and recommendations, and only one of these was advertised at all.  (Yes, I had to formally apply for this one, but the acquaintance who alerted me to it was confident that I would get it, and it turned out that this employer seeks multiple employees on an ongoing basis, almost all of whom are also referred by their contacts.)

Advice practically useless

If my experience is general, this means that conventional advice on finding employment is practically useless.  Could it be that almost all jobs are given to people the employer already knows?  Should we helping the unemployed to expand their social networks rather than compelling them to apply for numerous jobs?

The ‘old school tie’ rules?

From a more philosophical perspective, does this mean that the entirety of our apparently sophisticated and equalities-compliant system of job-advertising and employment is nothing but a misleading veneer over our age-old instinctive mechanisms for choosing associates?  Does the ‘old-school-tie’ type of network effectively apply at all levels of society?

On a personal level, have the scales at last fallen from my eyes?  Should I ever apply for an advertised position again, unless I have been recommended for the position?

What’s your experience?

It would be interesting to know if there any statistics on this, but in the meantime please complete either or both of the surveys below.

About biowrite

I am a writer specialising in non-fiction, particularly in assisting people with their biographies.
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