ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What HR Won't Tell You About Why You're Not Getting Hired

Updated on February 20, 2017
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with applied experience in corporate human resources and consulting.

The Inside Track: Job Seeking In A Crowded Market

Job seeking can feel like a horse race.  Companies receive an average of 250 applications for every vacant position. Learn tips about the hiring process from an HR insider.
Job seeking can feel like a horse race. Companies receive an average of 250 applications for every vacant position. Learn tips about the hiring process from an HR insider. | Source

Why Can't You Find A Job?

There are about 4 million job openings in the United States just waiting to be filled.1 At any point in time, one website—Monster.com—advertises over 1 million vacant positions. And Monster's not even the biggest job search engine.

With so many jobs available, why can't you seem to land one of them?

Traditionally, there was a rule-of-thumb in Human Resources (HR) that for every $10,000 in salary, it takes one month of job searching to land a position. Thus, if your target salary is $60,000, expect a six-month job search.

But not now. All bets are off, job seeker.

Are you ready for the new normal?
Are you ready for the new normal? | Source

Welcome To the New Normal

When it comes to finding a job, it's a horse race, with candidates crowding the field and jockeying for position. When they're advertised—and not all of them are—available positions are often widely circulated and thus receive a flood of applicants.

And that's even for crappy jobs.

Unfortunately, many of the available job openings are

  • temporary, seasonal, or part-time
  • low skilled
  • low wage
  • require relocation and/or
  • require high barriers to entry (e.g., nurse practitioner or engineer).

In a crowded field with so many applicants, learn what HR won't tell you about why you are having so much trouble landing a job. Then use the tips to stand out from the crowd and improve your chances for job hunting success.

Live the Dream

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

With more than 10 million copies sold, this updated classic can help you uncover your skills, interests, and talents. Get motivated, land a job you love, and live the dream!

 
When it comes to finding a job, it's a horse race.  Are you ready?
When it comes to finding a job, it's a horse race. Are you ready? | Source

Reader Poll

Which of the following best describes your current job search situation?

See results

In A Tight Hiring Race, Reputation Can Make Or Break the Deal

Google yourself lately?  Your digital footprint reflects who you are on social networks, blogging, dating and music & video sites, and in professional & technical communities.
Google yourself lately? Your digital footprint reflects who you are on social networks, blogging, dating and music & video sites, and in professional & technical communities. | Source

In the Race For A Job, You Have Plenty of Competition

  • More than half of all job openings in the US are posted on two or more social networks.2
  • On average, the first on-line application is received within 200 seconds of posting a job vacancy.3
  • Indeed.com had 100 million unique visitors to its job-posting website in one month.

Tip #1: We Heard About You On-Line, and It Ain't All Good

Recall those political rants you Tweeted? (They were funny at the time.) And that photo of you partying with friends at the nightclub? The racist joke that you "liked" on Facebook? Or the blog post where you proudly declared yourself bipolar?

These disclosures may come back to revisit you, and you may not even know it. Because when it comes to filling jobs, HR and hiring managers are checking you out on-line.

Google Yourself Lately?

Your digital reputation could keep you from being hired.  Hiring managers are looking.
Your digital reputation could keep you from being hired. Hiring managers are looking. | Source

Often before the interview, the company goes on a seek and find mission. It knows a lot more about you than you think. More than two in five hiring manager find reasons on-line to not hire a candidate.4

In such circumstances, you won't get a chance to discuss, defend, or explain. You're simply done, and you'll probably never know the real reason you didn't make the cut. All the hiring manager needs to indicate is that another candidate was more qualified.

Whoa there, Nelly!  Your tracks are all over cyberspace.
Whoa there, Nelly! Your tracks are all over cyberspace. | Source

Tips For Job Seekers: On-Line Reputation Management

Here are tips to help you manage your digital reputation:

  1. See what's already out there by Googling yourself, including maiden names and aliases.
  2. Look yourself up on a people search platform, such as Spokeo.com. Then, under the fine print at the bottom, consider opting out. At least make your personal data a little harder to find.
  3. Set up Google alerts so that you'll receive an e-mail alert each time your name appears on the web. Other reputation management tools are also available.5
  4. Build and promote your professional brand by creating a website using your name. (You'd be surprised how many other people have your name—including some unsavory characters.)
  5. Check those ever-changing privacy settings on Facebook and other social media accounts. Be aware that who you "friend" and "follow" and what you "like" can say volumes about you. Don't allow others to tag you in photos. Instead, try to control the content associated with your name.
  6. Don't be a no-show for social media. Employers find candidates with no on-line presence disconcerting. This is one situation where the adage "no news is good news" does NOT hold.
  7. Think twice before linking certain accounts. For example, that scathing "anonymous" review of your former employer on your Glassdoor.com account is not so anonymous when you link your account to Facebook. (Now how do you feel, O Brave One?)
  8. Using search engines, periodically review photos associated with your name (e.g., that profile photo associated with your LinkedIn account).
  9. When you post, Tweet, share, or pin, know that nothing on-line is truly private. Behave as if a prospective employer could access it.

Your Digital Tracks Are All Over Cyberspace

Personal information that previously took months to compile is now available almost instantly. Have you Googled yourself lately? Your digital footprint includes information taken from a variety of sources:

  • social networks
  • blogging sites
  • dating sites
  • music, photo, and video sites
  • professional and technical communities
  • marketing surveys
  • public records (e.g., phone books, real estate records) and
  • on-line maps.

What Picture Does Your Digital Profile Paint?

Information that is available to prospective employers may alarm you. For example, even though Spokeo.com and similar people search platforms are expressly not intended for employee or credit screening, there's nothing to stop a hiring manager from looking you up.

Available information includes a person's

  • full name & aliases
  • profiles and email addresses
  • age
  • income
  • ethnicity
  • current & previous addresses (including a street-side map of one's residence)
  • home values
  • public records (bankruptcies, liens, judgments, lawsuits, criminal records)
  • photos and social profiles (where you've offered your attitudes, opinions, and preferences) and
  • information on family members and your spouse.

HR routinely cautions hiring managers about the risks of on-line snooping because potentially discriminatory factors are often open to discovery via social networks. These include, for example, age, ethnicity, health, gender, and sexual preference.

Regardless, curious hiring managers routinely use technology to take a closer look at job candidates. Don't let your on-line reputation trip you up in your job search. Recent graduates are some of the worst offenders, even though they are some among the most connected and digitally savvy users.

Stay in the race by actively managing your on-line presence. Ensure that it promotes a responsible, professional image.

Video Infographic: Social Media Is Changing Job Recruitment

Tip #2: Your Online Degree May Be Worthless

If your on-line degree is from a school that is not fully accredited, that could be why you're not landing a job. Examples include various for-profit institutions or diploma mills that provide school credit for "life experience." (Legitimate institutions do not do that.)

Within the last decade, a variety of state and Ivy League schools have joined other organizations in offering distance learning options.6 Some even offer certificates or degrees.

However, in the world of on-line education, all schools are not equal. Without the necessary accreditation to back up a diploma or certificate, students receive a very expensive piece of paper that will not help them much in the job market. It could even hurt them.

Hiring managers may perceive such applicants as

  • poorly prepared for the job market
  • gullible (because they have been duped at great expense), or
  • even deceptive (more the case with diploma mills).

As a result, many employers simply disregard your applications if your degree has a questionable accreditation.

Thoroughbred Education?

HR and hiring managers often outright reject on-line degrees from diploma mills or for-profit colleges that lack proper accreditation.
HR and hiring managers often outright reject on-line degrees from diploma mills or for-profit colleges that lack proper accreditation. | Source

The Perils of For-Profit Education

If your degree is from a for-profit institution, take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Today, one in two American colleges or universities is now a private, for-profit institution.Such schools now produce more than 1 in 5 Associates degrees and nearly 1 in 10 Bachelors degrees.6

School recruiters have faced public and congressional scrutiny for their use deceptive marketing practices and waste of taxpayer-subsidized student loans. Whereas these schools promote the benefits of on-line convenience and the lucrative career prospects, their disillusioned graduates typically face massive debt and a substandard education—one that is not fully accredited by the Department of Higher Education and The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

If your degree or certificate is from such an institution, you have several options in your job search:

  • Network with graduates of your "dissed" college or university. They could be in the position to hire fellow alumni.
  • Downplay and distract by padding your resume with additional coursework at a more reputable institution.
  • Adopt a resume format that de-emphasizes your degree in favor of your skills, achievements, and experience.
  • If you're lucky enough to land an interview, go in confident and ready with your sales pitch.

Tip #3: Your Skills Are Outdated

Most skills cannot carry you through an entire career. They wear out and need updating or fine-tuning. And if you fail to do that, you're going to find yourself as relevant as the milkman, the elevator operator, or the telegraph operator—no matter how awesome your work ethic.

Don't wait until you're out of a job to find out your skills and experience need expanding.
Don't wait until you're out of a job to find out your skills and experience need expanding. | Source

Do A Competitive Analysis Of Your Skills Before Your Job Hunt

Having obsolete skills can sneak up on anyone when they're not looking. Even if you are happy in your current job, it's important to periodically scan employment postings so that you know how your skill set and experience measure up.

Call it a clandestine competitive analysis or whatever you want. Just try to do it before you're actually in the job market—while your employer can pay for training and you can practice your new skills on the job.

You're never too busy to keep learning and growing.  Stay marketable.
You're never too busy to keep learning and growing. Stay marketable. | Source

Signs That Your Skills Are Becoming Obsolete

Even if you're great at what you do, you may need to freshen your skills.

Here are signs you could need to update your training or expand your skill set into new areas:

  • You've been doing the same tasks for 2-5 years or more, and there have been limited changes to your areas of responsibility or job scope.
  • Machines could do your work, or the focus of your job is routine. Your job concentrates on successful completion of a narrow number of duties.
  • You haven't attended professional training or a professional conference in years.
  • You think social media is for other people. (Why all the fuss?)
  • You don't keep up-to-date on industry or professional literature and trends.
  • People around you are using terminology you don't understand.
  • You used to have areas of expertise, but through lack of use you're no longer a go-to on the subject.
  • You have a staff who can deal with the details for you. They create your presentations and spreadsheets, analyze your business data, and connect directly with clients. (Executives, that's YOU!)
  • You feel increasingly out of the loop, the last to know.

Tip #4: You Could Be Considered Unemployable

The Great Recession has claimed more than jobs. For some out-of-work job seekers, it's claimed their hope, too. (Don't let it claim yours!)

As the economy still struggles to recover, the average duration of unemployment is over nine months.7 And typically, it takes the jobless about 17 weeks to either find work or give up entirely.8

Unfortunately, however, time is not on their side. There's only a 12% chance of becoming employed after being out of work for 27 weeks.9 Fair or not, HR and hiring managers may consider such job seekers unemployable.

Job seekers who comprise the hard-core unemployed -- those who have been out of work for 6 months or more -- often find themselves discouraged and stigmatized. At the same time that their family finances take a hit, they lose contact with work friends, suffer lower self-esteem as well as increased rates of emotional problems, and their skills may begin to erode from disuse.10

The air of desperation sets in.

If this is you, address any depression or other mental health issues, and take a realistic look at your options. When a job search isn't going well, it's time to:

  • review and assess your skills and your strategy
  • make necessary adjustments
  • consciously commit yourself to a path forward.

Are your skills up-to-date?
Are your skills up-to-date? | Source

Jobs That Are Disappearing Quickly In America

(click column header to sort results)
Job Title  
Projected Change Through 2020  
Typical Education Required For Entry  
Shoe Machine Operators
-53.4%
High School or equivalent
Postal Service Mail Sorters & Processors
-48.5%
High School or equivalent
Postal Service Clerks
-48.2%
High School or equivalent
Fabric & Apparel Patternmakers
-35.6%
High School or equivalent
Sewing Machine Operators
-25.8%
Less than High School
Switchboard & Answering Service Operators
-23.3%
High School or equivalent
Textile Machine Operators/Tenders
-21.8%
High School or equivalent
Semiconductor Processors
-17.9%
Associates Degree
Typists & Word Processors
-11.5%
High School or equivalent
Farmers
-8.0%
High School or equivalent
Data Entry Keyers
-6.8%
High School or equivalent
Fast Food Cooks
-3.6%
Less than High School
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupations with the Largest Projected Job Declines 2010-2020

Stand out from the Crowd with Your Skills and Experience

Know how to recognize when your skills are becoming outdated.  Then, do something about it!  Impress prospective employers with your adaptability and expertise.
Know how to recognize when your skills are becoming outdated. Then, do something about it! Impress prospective employers with your adaptability and expertise. | Source

When Your Job Search Is Not Going Well, Here Are Your Options

(click column header to sort results)
Options  
Definition  
Example  
Reinvent Your Career
Change career fields, hopefully to one that offers more opportunity
An administrative assistant pursues training as a plebotomist
Reformulate What You Offer
Broaden your skill and experience base to include a more desirable combination.
A finance professional learns how to conduct fraud investigations.
Reinvigorate Existing Skills
Deepen your skill set and career experiences so that you're more of an expert. Update your knowledge base.
An engineer joins Toastmasters to refine her communication, leadership, and public speaking skills.
Redouble Efforts
Try harder using similar job search techniques
Networking more frequently, applying to more jobs
Retreat and Relinquish Hope
Give up hope of landing a job
Stop applying, stop connecting, you giver-upper!
Revisit and Renew your Strategy
Objectively consider all elements of your search, from your resume format, to the way you engage with others in your network, the types of resources you use to find vacancies, your professional reputation, types of jobs you're willing to consider, etc.
Editing/customizing your resume, reassessing the types of positions you're willing to explore
When faced with a problem situation, how you handle it is up to you. Always remember: you have options. They may not be the most attractive options, but you do have options.

Game Changer: Lap Your Competition by Selling Solutions

Take the race for a job to a whole new level, and get yourself hired.  Determine what that pressing business problem is and sell them on why you are the answer to their misery.
Take the race for a job to a whole new level, and get yourself hired. Determine what that pressing business problem is and sell them on why you are the answer to their misery. | Source

Tip #5: You're Not Making a Compelling Business Case (Yet)

The last thing HR or hiring managers want to hear is how much you need this job. Don't even hint at it. Hiring is not a social program.

Landing a job is all about solving a problem for your prospective employer. It's about finding out why the job is critical enough to merit filling. What do you have to know about the industry, the company, technology, your profession, and the position to do that?

In today's economy, people don't typically just fill seats. They solve a pressing business need. Therefore, you must create a compelling business case for the hiring manager in which you successfully pitch the value of your talents and experience.

Your mission as a job seeker is to determine what that pressing business problem is, what the company thinks it needs as a solution, and then to persuade the hiring manager why you are the answer to his or her misery.

If you do that better than anyone else, you're hired.

Go Land That New Position!

Someone will land that new position. Shouldn't it be you?
Someone will land that new position. Shouldn't it be you? | Source

Notes

1Lewis, Adam. "There Are 4 Million U.S. Job Openings: Why Are The Positions Unfilled?" Forbes. Last modified May 31, 2013. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/05/31/there-are-4-million-u-s-job-openings-why-are-the-positions-unfilled/.

2McNaughton, Marissa. "Social Recruiting: 55% of U.S. Jobs Are Posted to Two Or More Social Networks." The Realtime Report. Last modified June 6, 2012. http://therealtimereport.com/2012/06/06/social-recruiting-55-of-u-s-jobs-are-posted-to-two-or-more-social-networks/.

3Sullivan, John. "Why You Can’t Get A Job … Recruiting Explained By the Numbers." ERE.net - Recruiting News, Recruiting Events, Recruiting Community, Social Recruiting. Last modified May 20, 2013. http://www.eremedia.com/ere/why-you-cant-get-a-job-recruiting-explained-by-the-numbers/.

4Jobs & Job Search Advice, Employment & Careers | Careerbuilder.com. "More Employers Finding Reasons Not to Hire Candidates on Social Media, Finds CareerBuilder Survey." Last modified June 27, 2013. http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=6%2F26%2F2013&id=pr766&ed=12%2F31%2F2013.

5Bodine, Larry. "10 Tools To Check Your Online Reputation." Larry Bodine Law Marketing Blog. Last modified January 15, 2014. http://blog.larrybodine.com/2014/01/articles/tech/10-tools-to-check-your-online-reputation/.

6Porter, Eduardo. "The Bane and the Boon of For-Profit Colleges." The New York Times. Last modified February 25, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/business/economy/the-bane-and-the-boon-of-for-profit-colleges.html?hpw&rref=education&_r=0.

7Philips, Mathew. "The Long-Term Unemployment Problem Is Getting Slightly Better." Businessweek.com. Last modified January 30, 2014. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-30/the-long-term-unemployment-problem-is-getting-slightly-better.

8Kurtz, Annalyn. "Long-term unemployed still face dim job prospects." CNNMoney. Last modified January 8, 2014. http://economy.money.cnn.com/2014/01/08/long-term-unemployed/.

9Morin, Rich, and Rakesh Kochhar. The Impact of Long-term Unemployment. Pew Research Department, 2010. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/11/760-recession.pdf.

You're a problem solver.  You can jump those hurdles!
You're a problem solver. You can jump those hurdles! | Source

© 2014 FlourishAnyway

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 23 months ago from USA

      Audrey - That has to be so frustrating for your son. I hope he can get all the skills and experience he can from the situation and move on to better employment without losing self-confidence. I wish him the very best, as I do you.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 23 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Flourish - What a great hub for people looking for a job. Competition is fierce out there, and many people are discouraged these days . My son works on contract and cannot get hired by the company. He is in his forties. I know many people who take low paying jobs, as that is all they can get. Thank you for sharing your knowledge about the issues. Since I live in Oklahoma City, things may be looking up, except for some failing fields at the present time. Sharing, Blessings, Audrey

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      vespawoolf - Depending on what one posts, it's not always bad to use a pseudonym. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

      These are good reminders to be careful what we publish online. I appreciate that you offer suggestions to update your skills profile. Thank you!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      PegCole17 - Thanks for that terrific compliment! Have a great week.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Amazing insight into a mysterious land of Human Resources. It is incredible what people can find out about us on line in these times of social networking. I've often wondered if political leanings and liking certain things on these sites would taint our marketability. You've answered that question and loads more. Thanks. This is important stuff that should receive a hub of the day nod.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Tori - Sounds like an HR person wasn't exactly on fire with the recruiting process. Glad everything worked out for you in the end. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Torrs13 profile image

      Tori Canonge 3 years ago from California

      Lots of great information here. When I moved to North Carolina, I took a job as a nanny at first. After I got settled, I decided to try to Fonda job in my field. I interviewed with a company in February and it took over two months to get the job offer. I'm just thankful that I didn't have to wait any longer!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Au fait - You sure do have a lot of interesting experiences when it comes to employment. Thanks for sharing your insights.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Spokeo and a few other similar sites had me living in Crowley TX at a certain time, and in fact I'd never heard of the place. I had to look it up on a map to see where it was!

      I was in fact living in Northern California at the time they put me in Crowley. My daughter was born in CA and I have rent agreements, electric bills, etc., from that time. But no one ever asked. They just made their superior judgment about me based on lies.

      Employers should not be allowed to look at social networks or anywhere else to get information about an applicant. So much of it is lies and they make the decision, as you pointed out, without ever discussing it with an applicant. They are often making their decisions based on lies. That is totally unfair to the applicant. A decision to hire should be made only on information provided by the applicant, and verified by references provided by the applicant.

      Sexual, political, or social views or activities beyond raping and ax murdering should have no influence on whether a person is hired.

      The only info any employer needs is name, previous education and experience, means of contact (mailing address/phone #) and that's enough.

      If someone has a criminal record and they're not in jail, apparently they've paid their debt to society and should be given another chance. Employers only need to know if there is a history of violence. The worst thing I've ever been charged with was a traffic violation, but I know how hard it is for previously incarcerated people to get a job once they're out again. Some people want to punish them for stealing a candy bar until they die and would probably chase them beyond that too if they could.

      Assuming someone who went bankrupt is likely to embezzle is akin to assuming someone who has had a parking ticket is likely to steal from the employer or park their butt in a no parking zone when they should be working.

      Cameras that are already in the workplace will show whether or not an employee is doing their job or breaking the law. Since some industries refuse to hire people who have gone bankrupt but those businesses are still plagued with embezzlers and people who simply can't do simple math, apparently a lot of people who never go bankrupt are still dishonest or incompetent. The camera will tell the story in any case.

      Judging all people the same way is also wrong. Just because a C student took 6 months to learn their job doesn't mean an A student will require the same time period to learn that same job. Sadly, it's C students who are usually in charge of hiring practices and actual hiring, and that may explain some of the problems involved.

      Previous job experience should tell employers what people are capable of. In other words whether or not they can do the job successfully. It will certainly tell them 1000 % more than the lies they have gleaned off the Internet will tell them.

      The practice, still in place, where anyone who is unemployed will not even be considered is just plain unethical, cruel, and unChristian. Refusing to hire someone simply because they are unemployed, whether for a minute, 5 years, 10 years, or somewhere in between a minute and 10 or more years is stupid. The world is screwed up because so many people, employers or not, insist on living their lives by assumption.

      Do you know I have a Dunn & Bradstreet rating? Yes, I own a successful furniture store in a North Texas city according to these private online information websites and I do in fact have a D&B rating.

      It's a lie. I had a tax number when I sold a few used books and wood spice racks, and CDs, etc., several years ago on eBay. From that, private information sellers have grown that short-lived eBay business into a brick and mortar furniture store. I repeat, it's a lie. I never owned a furniture store ever in my life. I do not own one now. I don't even sell on eBay anymore though I have a dormant account there.

      Prospective employers are judging me for living in a town I've never set foot in at any time in my life, when I was in fact halfway across the country -- and by the fact that I own a furniture store that doesn't exist -- and who knows what other lies?? They don't ask about these things. They just make an assumptive decision based on them.

      Employers regularly judge applicants by lies they drag up wherever they can find them and yet they consider their own judgment, analytical skills, and intelligence, far above average. How smart is it to base decisions on lies?

      Employers don't need most of the information they require. It really has no bearing on the job requirements or how well a person will fit the job or perform the duties.

      Even the whisper of a suggestion that an employer, or any agent of an employer, has looked for this information or located it by any means whatever, should give that employer a fine that will take their breath away. Yes, and without discussion.

      If employers can do a number on an applicant not taking care to be sure the info they are rejecting that applicant over is correct, then they should get a little taste of their own medicine. Just send them a bill that will take their breath away so that they will never snoop again.

      Personal information companies who peddle lies for a profit and ruin people's lives also for a profit. should not only be fined out of existence, but their owners and main managers should get a few years of free room and board. If they've ruined enough lives, or ruined even one life badly enough, I would recommend they go to a larger facility that offers free sex club memberships whether they want to join or not.

      I know there are no laws regulating the collection or sale of personal information at this time, but their certainly ought to be. No one should be able to ruin another person's life because of negligence or because they just feel like it, or don't care. That is happening now and it should be illegal.

      Employer snooping should also be illegal. If you are not on the clock then your employer should have nothing to say about what you do off the work place property and without the employer's products or services involved.

      If you think government is too intrusive to the point of being the third person in your bedroom, think about employers who know what size bra and panties you wear, what you have for lunch, where you shop, who your friends are, who that kid is you had a crush on in the third grade, who your grandparents voted for 20 years ago, and much more. It's none of their business unless you're on their clock when you do it, whatever it is.

      Yes, I am pretty tough on these information peddlers and their customers. Anyone who has had their life destroyed by these sellers of lies, and for a profit no less, wouldn't feel like serving them tea and cake either.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Your support is terrific! Thank you. I've been visiting my husband's elderly aunt out-of-state this week and have been having Hub withdrawal.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      This is pinned to my "Things to Know" board. Hopefully it will reach the eyes of people who might be too free with what they share on social media outlets. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Thank you for your support, ologsinquito!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      I love this series of articles you've written on the hiring process, with useful insider information. This is going on another board.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Rose - Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope this hub is helpful to those in the market for a new job.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great job with this topic! You've covered so many important points with so much detail. This is a wonderful resource for anyone in the market for a new job. Thanks!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks, ologsinquito! Last monday I won the HubPot for the day with my "donating your body to science" hub. I was quite surprised!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      FlourishAnyway, I think I saw that you won a contest, but now I can't find where I read that. Anyway, congratulations!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Paula - We all have those days! Don't worry about it! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Flourish.....This was a first for me.....Wow...I need sleep. I read 2 of your hubs......then "thought" I went back to the first one to comment. Left a nice wordy statement....realizing I was commenting on the WRONG hub....so I had to delete it.

      Oh god....how silly I feel. I'm sure you would have figured out what I did when you read all about the fact that I am a body donor...under THIS hub about employment.........!!! DUH!

      I'm just laughing this one off!! I think I'll try again another day!.. Oh brother!

      Your hubs are all excellent. Congrats on the 100 hubber score!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Victoria Lynn - Thanks for reading and commenting. It's useful to first see if you're listed, and then if you are to go under the privacy settings and opt-out. The site provides just enough information as a teaser to convince you that yes, the information you're looking for is available. Then they try to encourage you to upgrade for full access. I have simply de-listed myself to make it harder for others to get my information.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Oh, I think I have to pay, though, to see my information on Spokeo.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I've been helping my boyfriend sign up on tons of online sites. He doesn't have much hope as he is close to retirement age but can't retire, so who will hire him? And what does he qualify for after doing the same thing for nearly 30 years? We just keep trying . . . .

      I've never heard of Spokeo. I'd better check myself out. LOL. Great article here!!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Shasta - Thanks for reading and commenting. Finding a job is challening, so the more you know about how it really works, the more prepared and competitive you can be. It is definitely a race to the hiring finish line.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 3 years ago from USA

      Looking for a job is hard enough, but you have shown why it is even harder than I thought. This is really scary, but you have provided such helpful advice on how to overcome those obstacles and finally get that job. Voted up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks for pinning!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      I don't think I've pinned this one, so I'm doing it now. I have a fairly new business and work board.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks, ologsinquito. I appreciate your support!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      I just checked the blog from the day before and you're listed on the top 10. Congratulations.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Heidi - Thanks for commenting. I could talk about it all day, too! So many of the jobs are not published, or in some cases companies find the right person (through a hiring manager's informal network) and they'll adjust job requirements around that person. Glad you're happily self-employed!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Another awesome hub, as usual!

      It's ironic that the millions (literally) of jobs available are usually in the hidden job market. I've always had to chuckle when my husband has scoured job listings in the past... and, almost invariably, he's landed a job through someone in his network.

      The other side of the massive unfilled jobs issue is how poorly prepared students are when they get out of school, not so much for academic smarts, but for job seeking and employment skills. Some students would be better advised to get more targeted or vocational training, as opposed to standard college, to make themselves more employable. The opportunities are there.

      This is a topic I could discuss all day. But I better get to work (since I'm happily self-employed). :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Audrey - So sorry to scare you but I am glad you found it useful!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Bill - How fabulous that this was helpful. Sometimes just knowing what is out there in the job market can help with a person's current work situation. I have personally seen several rounds of company downsizing in which friends and trusted others were suddenly jobless, went through a shrinkage of the state government workforce in which people had to apply for their own jobs, and have investigated a number of cases that resulted in even high performing employees being fired for misconduct. It's brutal. I always survived and didn't sweat it, but many people have been forced into the world of job seeking -- a world for which they were unprepared. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Useful, interesting, and a bit scary!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Flourish. Thank God I'm gainfully employed. My biggest fear is at 54 having to start over somewhere and discovering all the things you mentioned in this Hub. Skills that got me my job 25 years ago probably wouldn't get me an interview today. It's a whole different set of rules that I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with. Of course, anyone including myself could find themselves with no choice but to wade knee deep into the job hunting world. This was very helpful. Hopefully I don't need to worry about this in the near future. Voted up , shared, etc...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Nadine - I know, right? Isn't it something that all that information is floating around? If you want to try to "clean it up" then you can use the opt-out service. Go to "privacy" all the way down at the bottom of their webpage and follow instructions for opt-out service. Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Good grief I just for fun tried the link Spokeo.com and just added the username I use a lot in the internet and yes, I came up! Wow! I'm so glad that there is nothing I ever wrote that I would not want others to read. Being an author my aim is to be found after all but I'm glad I'm not job-hunting! Thanks for this great hub and I'm going to share it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jo - Thank you for reading, voting, and sharing. I'm glad it is helpful.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      MsDora - What a nice compliment! I truly appreciate it.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      This is the hub of the day by any standard. A must read for anyone in the work world. Voted Up for sure.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      This is very illuminating, excellent work very informative. Voting up and sharing.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Writer Fox - Sometimes I just wish I could hold the hands of young job seekers and direct them not to do certain things. But then, that would be pretty weird and awkward of me. Mistakes are valuable teachers. Especially if college kids have photos of themselves engaging in underage or other illegal behavior, that's a no-no. One photo of a beer in a 20-year-old's hand can sink them when they're trying to land that first job.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Suzanne - Thanks for stopping by. With so many qualified (and many unqualified) applicants to choose from, someone will get hired. Persistence, great sales skills (even if you're not in sales), and adaptability to changing job markets will pay off.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      There is so much valuable information in this comprehensive article! I love the advice you gave about leaving digital tracks and I wish more twenty-year-olds realized that they are leaving a permanent imprint on the Web when they post online.

      About the 'lengthy unemployment': Yes, it has to be explained. I once interviewed a woman who had an unexplained gap of about ten years after high school. Turned out, she had been a nun in a convent!

      Enjoyed and voted up!

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Very useful points in this hub and you can see why sometimes people won't consider you for a position. Occasionally it can just boil down to having too many qualified and good people applying and so HR just have to pick some. I think the best way to get beyond this is to make sure your resume stands out a bit more (eg with a professional graphic or something) and also to sell yourself harder if you do get an interview. You do have to wonder what is going wrong in our society though for there to be so much unemployment and the government is doing nothing to encourage more of it. Voted up and useful.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      justthemessenger - I like that you are resilient and adaptable enough to do what you need to do to survive. Unfortunately, so many careers of the future will be just like what you depict in your comment. Thanks for reading and commenting. I wish you well.

    • profile image

      justthemessenger 3 years ago

      I consider myself a"professional temp." As such, I have worked somewhere on a consistent basis, thereby bringing cash into my pockets despite not working a full time "permanent" job (whatever that means) for some time. Freelancing is also an option (not just writing) that I do. Steady long term employment is becoming a thing of the past.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      John - It's good to know a fellow "Personnel" employee/ex-employee. I've been with companies that have called it Employee Relations, Industrial Relations, Talent Acquisition & Organizational Development, Human Resource Development and Management, etc. There seems to be a bit of an identity crisis. I liked Compliance and Investigations the best, as hiring is often such a ruse.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thank you for the kind compliment. I hope it helps those who need it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jackie - It is spooky. A few years ago we had an employment attorney of all people provide a training session to the HR staff regarding keeping your data safe online. We politely listened, took it all in, and within 10 minutes of the session ending looked her up online using freely available websites (no cost). We found where she lived including a street side view of her home, her religion, income and alleged credit information, age, identities of her children, home phone, and her husband's name. Of course, that was just for kicks and giggles to see if she was locked up tight. No one really is.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Flourish, I told her to report it to the Florida Department of Labor. It's against the law to offer anything other than verification of employment dates,etc. when verifying employment. I certainly hope she fights for herself. What is being done to her is not only morally wrong, it's illegal and can very well affect any further attempts at gaining employment anywhere, even if she chooses to leave the industry.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow Flourish, great info here. I can see I am out of the loop. I had no idea that prospective employers checked out your inline profile for instance, but I guess that makes sense. I learnt a lot from this. I used to work in HR (we called it Personnel) for the Railway Dept. Years ago, but things have changed. Voted up.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      All I can say is "Wow." This is such an excellent and informative article. Social media must be taken very seriously.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I would so hate to be in the job market today. You give some great advice and this warning of people finding out who you are online a real eye opener. Well I mean big brother is everywhere isn't he? Even looking at us through our computer screens whenever they want to. Spooky huh? lol

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Bill - Some people say that the "effective" rate of unemployment is actually much much higher than the current 6-7% when you consider all the discouraged job seekers who have simply dropped out of the workforce after failing to find work and those who settled for seasonal/temporary work.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Raymond - I'm glad you found it helpful. Good luck to your wife as she searches for a new job!

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 3 years ago from The Netherlands

      I bookmarked your hub cause it has some useful information and is chock full handy tips. My wife is working on her CV and linked in profile. So the timing of your hub is perfect.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information in today's economy, information that will be needed more tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, because things are only going to get worse.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Joelle - Thanks for the enthusiastic encouragement and for the lovely comments about Sarah, the kitty my mom rescued from a hot parking lot when she was not even 5 weeks old. She has grown into her job as Chief Lap Cat. Thank goodness she was qualified!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I hope that you will create a book with all your articles about HR. Because you worked in that area you have a great behind the scene knowledge. Those are great informations to have when looking for a job!

      Thank you for sharing, Flourish!

      Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome! Great choice of pictures.... being a cat person, my favorite one... the cat in the box :-)

      Have a great day!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Faith Reaper - The process of finding other work in this economy can be brutal if you live in an area of high unemployment, have outdated skills, or don't have useful search techniques. I wouldn't want to be there either.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Sha - I hope she is consulting an attorney. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi FlourishAnyway you dead right and I know of individuals who had to go through such changes.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Flourish, the controller of the last company I worked for handed in her notice about 9 months after I quit. Halfway thru the 2 week period, they asked her to sign a non-compete agreement of which she refused. (The company had never required this of previous controllers). She didn't live out the 2 weeks as a result.

      Recently, she went on a job interview for a company whose auditor recommended her. She found out that the Chairman of the company for which we both worked bad mouthed her up one side and down the other. Because he's so well known in the industry, she feels she has been black-balled.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, I am so very thankful I have been at my current job for over 19 years and my last one before this one for ten years! I am not one to move about! I would truly hate to be in the position where I had to find a job nowadays. Those are really interesting facts why HR will not tell one they cannot find you a job! Ouch!

      Up and more and sharing

      Have a great day,

      Faith Reaper

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Devika - It can be very challenging to decide to relocate, take a job that is part-time, seasonal, or otherwise sub-optimal, or have to learn new skills you didn't even think you needed. Some of the worst cases I've seen are executives who cannot do a darn thing they've let their skills erode so badly. It's very unfortunate.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Frank - Thanks for reading. I hope it helps those who need it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Double damn, Liz, you are too funny! You might be a challenge to employ but I bet you're a hoot to work with!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      anyway flourish as I was saying before in the last similar hub you published these types of hubs should be placed on job boards.. it is so useful :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great and challenging for job searchers you have accomplished an informative and most helpful hub. The options can be bleak if your skills are outdated.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Eeeks! I'm just glad to be retired! Not something I'd want to go through, and this new BS about 'not qualified' because of lengthy unemployment? What a crock! That is just so wrong--it's usually not the person's fault they were let go through so-called "downsizing" or other "cost-cutting" measures, such as shipping the job overseas....no one should be penalized for that!

      And I'm very politically outspoken on Face Book, so I guess I'd be screwed from the get-go, eh? Damn! And not one of those 'best places to find work' are anywhere I'd want to live. Double-damn!

      I voted 'not in the running' on your poll, though 'retired' is also true, and I was self-employed for a while...after running into age discrimination in my mid 40's ....

      Great article, though, and no doubt most helpful to anyone who is in the job market. Voted up, interesting and useful.

    Click to Rate This Article