New Study on job searchers taking "any job" while waiting to find the right one.

New study has been released which seems to counter a lot of the common sense advice we often receive about what to do between jobs. 

Workers who wait for the right opportunity instead of taking a short-term gig could be better off in the long run.


Don't Flip Burgers if You Want a Better Job


Factors Determining Callbacks to Job Applications by the Unemployed...

It ultimately found that middle-aged workers' duration of unemployment didn't meaningfully impact whether they would receive a call from a recruiter after applying for a job. But individuals who had already taken jobs for which they were overqualified were actually less likely to get a call than those without a job at all.

That is to say, a lower-skill, lower-wage "interim" job taken by an individual hoping to avoid a lengthy bout of unemployment "significantly reduces the likelihood of receiving a callback" from a recruiter.

It should, however be noted that this study focused on older workers (in three brackets from 35 to 58) - other studies show that younger workers have an opposite result, with longer periods of no work at all raising more red-flags, than taking work for which they are overqualified or unrelated. 

Anyway - interesting information to keep in mind, when taking or getting advice, and before leaving a job in the hopes of finding a new one. 

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The way I look at it ... if a prospective employer would look down on a man for doing what needed to be done to feed his family, that's not somewhere I'd want to work anyway.

That being said, I wouldn't necessarily put a job like that on my resume.  Certainly not at the top.

I'd buy that you're more likely to get passed over because you're tired, or complacent, or whatever and stop pursuing employment as vigorously as you would've if you were starving.  But, part of the idea of paying the bills with a suck job is that the job should suck enough that it motivates you to work after hours at getting a better one.


Your second point is how I would handle it as well. Just don't include it in the resume and they'd have no way of knowing that you took the interim job.

I guess that might change if it turned in to a long period of time that you had to have that job though because IMO it would look better to say you'd been flipping burgers for 6 months while trying to find other employment than to leave it off and make it look like you sat home the whole time. Speaks to your work ethic, really.

Eh.  Even then I might gloss over what the work actually was.  Just put 'self-employed' or something to fill the time, and, if asked, say you did odd jobs here and there to keep you busy and pay the bills.  Technically true, but not as unflattering.


I agree.

Couple of comments from someone wh was there and did that.

1.  Most "recruiters" are too slack to do much more than check the box when trying to fill a position.  If you've worked as a retail clerk, that's all they see. A retail clerk.

2.  From what I gather, the study sent 12,000 phony resumes "in the blind" responding to want ads.  Then they surveyors assign their theory of causation to why they got a low rate of return.

3.  An interesting tidbit from an article about a person's experience as a "Community Organizer" back when the President was doing the same gig. The article's author found that in many instances, particularly involving laid off steel mill workers, the biggest problem with the workers finding new employment was the mill workers often only knew one specific job skill, i.e., operating one specialty machine, that didn't cross over well to other types of work.  

Regarding #2 - while we can agree that's not the best way to send out resumes, it did at least allow them to minimize variables over a large sample size, so they could build a decent data set with comparison points (e.g. they all had a low rate of return, but some variables performed much lower, statistically).


They do similar studies where all they change is the names on the resumes.

What I find unfair as well is the other side of the coin.  I have actually been turned down from jobs that I really wanted all because I "have too much education." Talk about a kick in the balls.

Yeah but considering the jobs I do tend to require a masters degree at the very least, I don't see me on my way to my doctorate being that unheard of.  I have pretty much concluded that people in their 40's, 50's, and 60's don't want to work with or in their eyes have competition with a guy in his early 30's.  Hopefully I am wrong, but I don't think I am.

What annoys the old hands is more the tendency of enough young turks to seemingly "know it all." Without actually knowing what the particular "it" happens to be.

@ Native Son. Absolutely!

I know my stuff. That's never been an issue.


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