Help Not Really Wanted: "Green Card Game"

One of the most irritating aspects of a job search is encountering ads for positions that already are actually filled. These ads often contain phrases like "experience in the position offered" or "experience performing the duties of the position offered" prefaced by the word years or the phrase "years of".

For example, right now on the Career Center at

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there is a listing of this type by TRW Automotive Engine Components for a Senior Materials Engineer for Sevierville, TN.

These phrases mean that the employer already has a foreign resident filling the position. He just is advertising to demonstrate that he cannot find a suitable American. Often the ad will have ludicrously detailed requirements (which of course were generated from the specific background of the incumbent). Usually the ad will have an alternative to already being filling the position. However, sometimes HR slips up and literally advertises only for the incumbent. ( For example, see

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If you reply to such an ad, then you are playing the losing game of competing with an incumbent. You would have a better chance of winning a game of three-card Monte!

Listing these ads under "help wanted" truly is fraudulent, since the only help desired is actually getting a stack of "unsuitable" resumes to comply with labor law. Shouldn't these ads be listed under a different category than real openings?

Pittsburgh Pete

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So, you can't compete in a free market?

Suck it up baby


Greg Locock

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Greg Locock

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