Need a job? You'll need to have a job first
Some recruiting firms say that their clients are expressing a preference for workers who are "passively" looking for jobs -- fully employed but open to new opportunities.
It's tempting to dismiss this elitist hiring policy as a remnant of the Puritan idea that poverty was a reflection of some kind of moral shortcoming, but in a way it makes perfect sense: If someone has a job in this economy, they must be good.
The real issue here is that it's a buyer's market for employers, with positions that are normally mundane and unattractive attracting a flood of applications and resumes. With so much interest in so few jobs, employers can be far, far pickier than they'd be in a normal job market. They have to be in order to sort through all those resumes and make hiring decisions.
A friend with a degree from an elite university recently found himself unable to snag a part-time gig at Banana Republic. The employer's reasoning? He was overqualified and would leave quickly once he found a better opportunity in his field of interest. That's right: Having a college degree is a good enough reason to reject someone applying for a minimum wage gig.