Career Advice

Headhunters versus “Scam” Hunters – Do Your Homework

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  1. job search Scams
  2. Other Resources:

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If you’ve been involved in a serious job search for any length of time, you’ve probably come across what I call “Scam Hunters”. These are companies that masquerade as recruiting firms and, once they contact you (and suck you in), try to sell you on a program where they claim they will “represent” you in your job search. The typical fee is $5,000 or so (but $10,000 and more is not unusual), but if they can get more $ out of you they will. If you do a search on these companies for complaints, you will find that most have numerous complaints and claims against them (this is certainly true for the four that have contacted me).

So my point is this, a true Recruiter (headhunter, executive search firm, etc.) will not charge you for their services. They are paid (either by retainer or contingency) by the hiring company.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true

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While many people decide to pay for services during their job search such as resume writing, interview coaching, resume blasting, etc., this is money is generally well spent if you need the help. But don’t be sucked in by slick salespeople who will sell you something you don’t need and will probably never deliver. Do some research on these companies and you will see what I mean.

job search Scams

“If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true”.  Protect your personal information at all costs.

Work at Home Schemes: There are probably some legitimate work at home companies out there, but the vast majority of “work from home” offers are scams. The FTC receives thousands of complaints on these schemes. Their sales pitches are very convincing, and they all have a list of names of individuals who supposedly made 10’s of thousands of dollars.  That being said, look out for:

    • Check out the CEO, if his address is a PO Box, stay away.
    • Find out the state of incorporation and check for complaints with the Attorney General, FTC and Better Business Bureau.
    • Do not give your bank information, credit card information or your Social Security number.
    • Take a look at the free FTC publication – Work-at-home-Schemes.

Emails about Jobs You Didn’t apply For: If you get an email from an employer or Recruiter regarding a job that you don’t remember applying for, there is a pretty good chance that you didn’t and it is a scam. They will usually shower you with compliments about why you are the perfect candidate and then they will ask for a bunch of personal information. Don’t be fooled. Ask them for their information and do a check on them (and don’t give them any information).

job search Boards: Even though a job may be posted on a legitimate job search board, the actual job may be a scam. Do not provide any personal information on the “application”, this information would only be given if you are hired. Also, only use job search boards that you’ve heard of.  There are many fake job search boards out there just trying to trick you into giving up your personal information.

Other Warning Signs:

  • The pay is too good to be true
  • You didn’t contact them (but they say you did)
  • Unprofessional emails (poor grammar, misspelled words, your name misspelled, etc.)
  • Emails from companies your trust, offering you a job and asking your to “just click here” are most probably a scam (do not click on the link).
  • Unsolicited phone calls – ask for their information and a call back number. Get their name, address and do a search.

Other Resources:

Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today's Rip-off Artists
$16.99

Maybe you're wondering how to make the scam phone calls stop. Perhaps someone has stolen your credit card number. Or you've been a victim of identity theft. Even if you haven't yet been the target of a crime, con artists are always out there, waiting for the right moment to steal your information, your money, and your life.

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11/30/2021 12:09 am GMT
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