Ever wonder why a job posted for months is still posted, even after an interview?

Woman's face lit by a computer screen in the dark
Photo by Niklas Hamann

This is a guest post by Lavie Margolin.

Everyone's felt this.

You conduct an Internet job search and notice a job that is the perfect fit for you.

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You apply, but get no response…

Nothing shocking, I know.

But then, as you keep searching, you continue seeing the same job that you are supremely qualified for, posted in various online outlets for months and months.

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Argh! Why is this happening?

It may be frustrating, but there are actually several reasons, and it may have nothing to do with how qualified you or any of the other applicants are.

Have you ever replied to an anonymous job listing? (no company name given)

Why The Job You Want is Still Posted Months Later

1. The position has a high turnover rate and in order to ensure a fresh pool of candidates, the job is constantly advertised.

2. The company has not yet found the right candidate for the job.

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3. The company thought they found the right candidate but it did not work out and the search is now reopened.

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4. The job will be filled internally but company has to source external candidates.

The corporate world is often guilty of this.

5. The job has officially been put on hold but resumes are being accepted until the job opens up again.

6. The company will not be reviewing resumes until a certain deadline has passed and is trying to gather as many resumes as possible.

7. There is no job currently. Companies sometimes post jobs that are already filled to have potential candidates available if a similar job is needed at some point.

8. Recruiters are looking to fill multiple job opportunities at the same time so it is not the same job being posted but similar jobs that need to be filled.

9. The job posting was not officially closed even though the job has been filled.

10. Recruiters post phantom jobs in order to conduct salary surveys.

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11. The advertising space for the listing was purchased for a specific amount of time and it will run until that time period has expired.

12. The person initially hired was moved into another position and the job is now open.

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13. Job websites aggregate postings from one another. The company is not actually re-posting the position but one website is taking a listing from another.

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14. The same job is being posted by multiple staffing agencies.

15. The job listing directs you to apply on the company website, building traffic and visibility for the business. In effect, it's more an ad for the company itself as opposed to the job described.

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16. The company simply and annoyingly forgot to remove the job posting.

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17. As an excuse to make it look as if they can't fill demand locally. (Thanks to Eric Berger)

another reason companies repost jobs forever

18. It takes time to onboard hires

Hopefully this provides a peak behind the curtain as to why things are being done the way they are.

Question of the article

Which of these reasons have impacted you directly, that you know of? Tell us in the comments.

What others are saying

Special thanks to Christine D., Jackie M., Margaret O., Natura L. and various anonymous contributors who provided me with greater clarity into this issue.

About the Author

lavie margolinLavie Margolin is a New York-based Career Coach. He is a multi-time author and has been cited for his expertise in various media outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune. Lavie is available for one-on-one coaching as well as speaking engagements. To learn more about Lavie, visit his website lioncubjobsearch.com.

This article was part of the Over $6000 in Prizes: It’s The 6th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest, which was made possible thanks in large part to our sponsors:

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. frank

    Great list, and hopefully knowing why the job postings keep appearing can reduce some frustration for jobseekers.

    As far as agencies posting “phantom” jobs, it’s an unfortunate truth that to many agencies their applicants are “out of sight, out of mind.” The freshest resume (and hottest candidate) in their mind is the one they just received. They want a fresh stream coming in daily.

  2. Devorie Friedman

    One company in Israel is notorious for advertising in the wanted section of the newspaper even when there are no jobs available. It’s cheaper advertising and makes them look like a strong, stable company.

  3. Jill Paitken

    We have conducted job searches and had one candidate that we really liked, but that candidate took a long time to refuse the job, we then reposted the job offer. It is difficult to explain to former interviewed candidates.

  4. Amy

    To me ( as a HR professional ) currently looking for work it’s a red flag!!

  5. D

    So how about this theory: Every time you apply for a job on LinkedIn it automatically makes you ‘follow’ the company (unless you un-check the follow box). Life nowadays is all about ‘follows’ & ‘likes’. Posting fake job ads is an easy way for a company to get a massive following on social media to appear bigger & better. SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Don

    There are jobs that have been posted for years. Not months but years locally. More than qualified for all of them and not even a response. I auto applied even though I don’t need a job. It is hard to think that companies keep paying for these ads when they doesn’t need them.

    1. Jacob Share

      One absurdity in the corporate world is budget management. There are departments who get budgets for very specific purposes and if they don’t use their entire budget that quarter/year, it’s assumed they don’t need so much and so the next budget is lower. In order to keep their budget from dropping – you never know if you’ll fully need it next quarter/year – the department will waste it e.g. on unnecessary job listings rather than leave it partially unused and risk losing it.

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