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Here is a simple scenario that I have seen often, personally, from friends and colleagues.

Someone looks around for job openings, takes a quantitative amount of time to alter their resume, cover letter, do research on the business and apply. Later, they find out they're not hiring. The business STILL has the ads up, even on their own website, that they are hiring, but do not take them down. Out of this, personally, I have started emailing businesses or calling them instead of wasting my time applying first.

What is a good way to reply to an email that states they are not hiring anymore but they still have their ad up? That possibly wastes however much time of the applicants and in my opinion is irresponsible on the businesses end. I would like to find a politically correct response to let them know that they should take their ad down.

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    It could be a (nasty) company "clickbait" strategy. Maybe they want to know how many candidates are applying for a position that doesn't exist yet but may exist in the future... or to assess how much people are willing to be paid. I don't believe you'll be able to get rid of this strategy, you just need to move along such companies. – Tiago Cardoso Apr 24 at 12:38
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    @TiagoCardoso i have never even thought of that. That kind of stuff happens?? Companies allow people to waste their time applying to fake jobs? – SovietFrontier Apr 24 at 12:52
  • TBH, I never worked with HR, but I know that when projects are being proposed, there's an extreme rush for people with a specific skillset. Several years back I remember seeing a project being signed off stating "people are available" but they were being interviewed... so I wouldn't be surprised if that was a (again, very nasty!) tactic. – Tiago Cardoso Apr 24 at 12:54
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What is a good way to reply to an email that states they are not hiring anymore but they still have their ad up?

Not to reply (and delete the email, should you choose).

You already wasted some of your time, not worth to waste any further.

I would like to find a politically correct response to let them know that they should take their ad down.

Not your job to do. If you want to express the problem you faced with other possible applicants, consider leaving a public review on some well-known sites, like Glassdoor.

  • Given that I can see some people did not like the answer - alternatives please? – Sourav Ghosh Apr 24 at 12:48
  • What would be a good way to let people know that said company does this all the time? – SovietFrontier Apr 24 at 12:56
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    @SovietFrontier Leave a glassdoor review. – Sourav Ghosh Apr 24 at 12:57
  • Good idea, but I always thought that website was for people who actually worked there. Thanks. – SovietFrontier Apr 24 at 13:02
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    Glassdoor also gives you the option of reviewing the application process, so that would be the place to leave this kind of remarks. – AsheraH Apr 24 at 13:38
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What is a good way to reply to an email that states they are not hiring anymore but they still have their ad up?

You don't.

A) It is posted on the website by accident

You have already informed them by sending in your application. The person that received it has taken the time to process your application and checked with HR or the hiring manager to find out that the job has closed. No one wants to be have to do this over and over again and HR is well aware of the impression it may leave. If it is up by accident this person or group of people that have to respond will ask for the job to be remove without your input.

B) It is posted on purpose

I maintained the jobs on my company's website and on external sites. I was a member of the executive team and was privy to the inner workings of the company. This was a company of over 100 people so this will not be applicable to all companies. That being said, here are a couple of reasons we had job posting even when we were not hiring.

  • When we were marketing ourselves looking to sell the company, the CEO wanted several jobs in operations and engineering to be up at all times. This was to give the impression that the company was vibrant and growing.
  • We often were fishing for an exceptional candidate. We would ask for an engineer with specific skills/experience that were rare and generally unavailable in the region. However, if someone that just moved to my region with experience from one of my major competitors or from a large Silicon Valley company, we suddenly had a job opening (which did happen every couple of years).

Your email will not accomplish anything but further waste your own time as the posting is up for a reason that does not involve an available position.

Finally

I understand your frustration in applying for a job which is actually not available, but this is out of your control and you need to take it as practice in writing your cover letter and move on. If you get a personalized letter from HR, you could ask for feedback on your resume and make the most of the situation while understanding that the job does not exist.

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