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Topic # 223563 6-Oct-2017 07:52
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Hopefully this will help ease the depression about applying for a job, in particular government jobs, and not getting it.

Working in Wellington, I noticed more than 1/2 the jobs advertised are really not attainable.

I've seen it from both side over many years: as an applicant and based on asking my bosses about positions.

With government positions in particular, often they're internal candidates. Also often a position is created specifically with a person in mind.

HR is forced to do the bare minimum public advertisement.

They are also forced to interview a minimum number of people. It's a bit sadistic, since they are basically wasting every interviewer's time, and raising hopes, just so they can tick boxes on a form.

Sometimes these "vapor jobs" are not so easy to spot, but sometimes they are.

Indicators are only advertised on the agency's website, is very specific, "must have extensive experience with insert a custom written application only used by the same agency". Also a give-away is a very short deadlines, such as 2 weeks.

It's worth applying, and try your best, but don't your hopes up.

Usually job where someone has to pay to list, such as TradeMe and Seek, are a much better bet that they actually are real jobs, you can attain.

As a sidenote, if you're CV doesn't have a local mail address, your odds drop to near zero.

Remember in life, it's usually a numbers game: "you've got to be in, to win."

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  Reply # 1878267 6-Oct-2017 08:15
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Disagree about the HR part. The reason they've become such large departments within many organisations is because they're great at knowing how to keep themselves employed while doing nothing productive whatsoever.

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  Reply # 1878272 6-Oct-2017 08:33
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Agree about HR.... maybe @Dratsab misunderstood. Govt depts have policies about advertising jobs, including minimum public advertisement times and interviewee numbers.


Other vapor jobs are put out by employment agencies; generic stuff like "Experienced C++ programmer" without information about the company or industry or environment. You apply, don't get the "job", but the agency kindly offers to keep your name on the books for any other similar job that turns up. This way, when a company rings the agency, they can immediately give them a list of "candidates".



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  Reply # 1878275 6-Oct-2017 08:37
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HR is better than marketers.

Why do government agencies need marketers?

I was annoyed with a government marketer constantly using the words "paradigm shifts" and "meta-data" during a presentation.

The same marketing department had a tendency of grabbing copyrighted graphics off the Internet, and including them in their presentations. Disney images of all things!

They also created a set of official agency colors, at great expense, that weren't within the Pantone color space

Lastly not properly lighting video recordings: filming talking heads sitting at their desk against a very bright window.

Adding insult to injury, they probably get paid more than I do.

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  Reply # 1878302 6-Oct-2017 09:15
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Adding insult to injury, they probably get paid more than I do.


I think that's obvious. If you're a good marketer, you can market anything, including yourself.



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  Reply # 1878381 6-Oct-2017 11:02
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When I worked in a government department some years ago there were occasionally jobs advertised that there was little chance of an external applicant obtaining, because there was already a strong proven internal candidate (often already acting in the role) that they wanted to appoint, and the Government rules still require such jobs to be advertised. But this was probably only true for a minority of the roles (circa 10%) that I had anything to do with.


There was never a minimum number of interviews that had to be done. If someone didn't come up to spec then they didn't get interviewed just to "make a quota". Often, only the internal candidate would actually get an interview.


The exception was in restructurings, where existing affected staff tended to have a run at new positions before they were advertised, and roles were only advertised if no suitable affected staff members applied.

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