Posts Tagged “Job Searching in 2009”

As a job seeker, how can you protect yourself from job scams that are posted right alongside legitimate jobs? There are still job scams being posted every single day on sites like Monster, CareerBuilder and especially Craigslist. Why are these people preying on job seekers through job ads? Because they want your personal information. They want your name, your address, your phone number, your email address and your place of employment (or last employment). They compile the information from the resumes they receive from the fake job ads. It’s all part of an elaborate scheme to collect and sell personal information for the purposes of identity theft.

Don’t become a victim! Protect yourself by recognizing the 2 main indicators of a scam job:

1. The job title is basic. Administrative Assistant, Intern, Customer Service, etc. By using very generic job titles they are casting a wide net hoping to catch as many job seekers as possible.

2. The description is basic or seems too good to be true. Everything about their job ads screams “easy”. Again, they are casting the widest net possible.

Here is an actual scam job posting we encountered recently: “This company is seeking an experienced administrative assistant for an immediate opening. You must have direct experience with invoicing, accounts receivable, payroll and general clerical responsibilities. You must be proficient with computer applications including Excel, Word, Outlook and Quickbooks, or similar accounting platform. You must have an outgoing personality, strong attention to details, excellent organization skills, reliable accuracy and be capable of working with minimal direction. We provide a competitive hourly wage that is commensurate with experience. This position is for full time employment. Compensation includes wages, healthcare benefits package, 401K, etc.  Applicants must be over 18 yrs old and able to pass both background check and drug screening. You must be free and clear from any existing non-compete agreements.”

It sounds like a legitimate job, right? That’s part of the trick. They want you to have a hard time recognizing it’s a scam. The ad above was for “Stanley Furniture” in Springfield, VA. According to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Stanley furniture cut 530 jobs in the last year.  That’s a red flag.

The bottom line? Don’t send your resume anywhere without researching the company first. If you can’t identify the name of the company from the job ad, and you value your personal information, we’d advise against sending your resume. This is obviously a personal choice to make/chance to take but the surest way to protect your information is to know who you’re sending it to.

You might think employers want to stay as far away from discriminating practices as possible. What you don’t know is that many are using a legal strategy by which to discriminate, often times unfairly. I’m talking about credit checks in the hiring process. Many employers have begun using this as a way of determining someone’s “reliability” or worthiness before making an offer of employment. What’s wrong with this picture?

Let’s review:


–verb (used without object)

1. make a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing on the basis of the group, class, or category to which the person or thing belongs rather than according to actual merit; show partiality.

–verb (used with object)

2. to make or constitute a distinction in or between; differentiate.

Since employers are using credit checks to separate classes of people, by definition it’s discrimination. It’s legal and it’s an ugly practice, especially in a time of economic turmoil and record numbers of home foreclosures. This type of hiring practice not only perpetuates discrimination but it further injures our economic recovery as a nation.  There are so many still unemployed that there was recently another extension on unemployment benefits for those that have exhausted theirs. During that time of receiving unemployment, do you think those people were able to keep up with their credit card payments?  Now they face losing job opportunities for making the choice to feed their families instead of maintain their credit score.

Since when did hiring someone to do a job have anything to do with their credit? Since when did hiring someone have anything to do with anything other than their qualifications and abilities? Now more than ever, employers continue to use this form of discrimination as a way to narrow the pool of candidates. There’s only one problem with this type of competition – it leaves the most unfortunate victims of the economy out of the game altogether.  I find HUGE fault with eliminating a hard working and qualified candidate because their house is in foreclosure or they haven’t been able to keep up with credit card payments. First penalized by the economy, now penalized by employers. How is the workforce supposed to recover? We should be questioning laws that allow any kind of discrimination in the work force. Employers need to get their heads out of the clouds and start looking at people instead of credit reports and numbers.  I don’t care what some psychologist says about credit being a basis for knowing if someone is reliable or trustworthy. I don’t care what your CFO says about keeping hiring costs/risks down – discrimination is discrimination. Spade. The end. Is that really the picture you want to paint of your organization? “Oh, we’re a really great company to work for – as long as you have good credit!” This is the real world, perhaps you should join us.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re a job seeker:

1. Employers can legally request permission to run a credit check on you.

2. Employers are REQUIRED to get your signature on a permission form to do so. This could be on a job application too, so READ CAREFULLY what you are signing!

3. The credit check isn’t detailed, but gives the employer your credit score and # of delinquent accounts.

4. Get a copy of your own credit report.  Being proactive about your credit is a better approach than being reactive.

There are a lot of ways employers can silently discriminate against you but this is by far the most widespread and legal way it’s done. Now, tell me your thoughts on how we can fix this….

renewable-energy-standardFinding the Energy to Network
It’s an interesting phenomenon that often occurs among many job seekers. Everywhere you go, you hear the call to “network, network, network.”And statistics continue to show that the old adage: “It’s who you know”still rings true. Depending on whom you believe, networking in one form or another can account for anywhere from 60% to 80% of all job placements.
Wow! Those are pretty good stats! So why, then, does it seem so hard for all of us, job seekers especially, to find the energy to do it?
I’m not sure anyone can give you exact reasons, but here are a few that I have compiled after having coached hundreds of job seekers each year through the job search process:
1. Networking isn’t linear. You know, when you apply for a position online, it’s pretty straightforward. The company posts an ad; you submit your resume. Never mind that more times than not you will never receive a response from that company, it still feels like progress to you. You can check it off a list. Pat yourself on the back. You did something!
Networking, however, is completely different from that. You show up at an event, have coffee with an old friend, or start up a chat on a social networking site. The experience may be pleasant, but you often walk away feeling like it didn’t do much to further your cause. You talked about the weather, your kids, the latest American Idol winner, etc. How does any of that lead to a job?

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NetworkingIn 2008 America shed a record numbers of jobs (over 2.5 million) The largest decrease since the end of WWII. With more losses looming on the horizon, and no slowdown in site, many people are wondering when will it end. This is an unprecedented time for workers in the US, with many people losing their jobs through no fault of their own. This will cause a ripple effect globally. No one is really safe. wants to offer some ideas to help you in  your search.

2009 marked the beginning of a new era in America.  A new president is in the oval office. Social media is taking center stage in the web 2.0 movement. Job boards are getting a lot of attention from job seekers.  This article is designed to assist the job-seeker. It includes ideas and information gathered from a variety of resources. It details the specifics of using LinkedIn to build your career network, and ideas on how to grow and develop your social networks.

It’s not the be all, end all guide that will guarantee your immediate success. It takes time to build and develop a network. There is no 30 second microwave networking class that actually works. wants to help by providing ideas and solid advice. Please share this by passing this information along to your peers, friends, family members, or anyone affected by the current employment crisis.

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twitter-1Social Media is drawing masses of attention. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and 800 other social web 2.0/3.0 applications are all competing for market share. You might be asking yourself  “how can I make use of these tools?” “How can they help me find a job?” That is a great question. One that deserves a great answer. Alison Boyle over at addresses how to use twitter in your job search efforts. I wanted to expand on that post somewhat.

Twitter is a fast and simple way to digest a lot of information. Not only can you keep in touch with your contacts, it can help you get career advice, and quite possibly help in your job search.  Statistics show that job search networking is much more effective when you make ‘loose’ connections – touching base with people beyond your immediate circle . Whose networks and contacts are considerably different from your own. With over 4 million users, Twitter offers a fantastic opportunity to create  flexible extended networks.

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