When you’re job hunting, you eagerly search for every new job posting (listing) that seems like a good match for you. So what exactly is a posting? How does it get born?
If the listing disappears, is the job gone? And if it appears again even after you interviewed, does that mean you didn’t get the job?
All good questions. So let me try to answer them one by one.
So what is a job posting?
When a company has a job to fill, they want to let as many people know about it as possible**. And they want to invite qualified potential employees to apply. So they will “post” or list it with places like online job boards, newspapers, employment services, alumni services, on their own website, and possibly with a specially-hired recruiter.
But first, someone has to write the words that go into the job posting. Words that will “sell” the job to the right candidates — and also provide a basic job description with employer name (unless initially masked), title, salary, location, and some basic key requirements such as specialized skills, experience, and education.
For more details about the job and company, there’s usually a link to the company website or other site where you can also apply. You want to read both the job posting and more detailed job description carefully to help you target your resume and (if allowed) cover letter.
**Exception to the rule: Sometimes a company already has the candidate they want. But for a number of reasons, including some legal requirements, they need to make the position availability known to the public. Unfortunately for job seekers who spot the posting and are eager to apply, this opening may never really exist — at least not for them.
Why postings disappear or reappear
When the job posting is born, employers need to figure out how long they will let the ad / listing / posting run. Sometimes they get so many candidates right away, they either remove the listing or let the ad run for the limited number of contracted days or weeks.
So a job may not be filled yet, but the ad disappears. If there aren’t enough good candidates yet — or if the employer just wants to see who else might apply — they repost the listing. Or they may have actually hired someone and that doesn’t work out.
And sometimes employers just aren’t good at remembering that a job posting is still active even after a job has been filled or de-budgeted, or changed in some way. And so again, there may be no actual job.
Assume it’s real anyway
But most times, the listing is for real. And even if not, you never know when your application may wind up getting to a different job they create. (I’ve had that happen when I was hiring manager.) Or the original position reopens. So go ahead and apply.
And, as always, target your resume and cover letter to the job!
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