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Job Seeker SCAM ALERT. Job Seekers Are Getting Ripped Off.

I have written more articles than I care to count. All with the intent to help people with their job search.This is probably the most important article I have written or may write.

I have had so many candidates call me or email me asking about these, ‘candidate marketing services’ or ‘resume marketing services’ or whatever name they are going by now. Worse, I have too many candidates describe how they have paid thousands of dollars to these companies for little in return.

The safest advice I can give you is, ‘BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL’ as the odds are high you will be ripped off.

Don’t confuse or mix these companies in with qualified and certified ‘career coaches’ or ‘resume writers.’ These people have gone through training, generally work off of referrals, have great references, and are often members of organizations that have ethical guidelines they agree to follow. These are professionals and provide a good service at a fair price.

I’m addressing the companies that promise you job leads, contacts, referrals to decision makers and lots of job openings. All they will do is take your money and deliver excuses, after you’ve paid them, about why they no longer have all of these valuable contacts. That is if they even take your call.

Some thoughts, ideas, questions, and what to listen for, before buying these services:

  1. Are they promising to find you a position? If they say or even imply ‘yes,’ RUN and keep running.
  2. If they tell you they have a lot of job openings and positions, RUN and run really fast. In this economy nobody has that. All they have done is either made them up or downloaded them from the job boards.
  3. If they claim to have a job opening just right for your background, DON’T RUN. Fly out of there.
  4. If they claim to have lots of referrals and contacts for you, RUN.
  5. Ask what credentials does the consultant have, and who is the credentialing agency?
  6. Talk to at least three people currently employed that used them. Call them at their office through the switchboard (not a direct line) and talk with them. If they don’t willingly and joyfully give you these or delay, RUN.
  7. Make a very specific list of deliverables you want or need. Not what they promise you.
  8. Google the company name, the business owner’s name, the sales person’s name and the counselor’s name.
  9. Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints on the company and the owner.
  10. If they contacted you first, RUN. Ask exactly how they got your name. If they don’t give a specific answer, RUN. It usually means they got your resume from mining the resume databases on job boards.
  11. Similar to number 2. What are their specific qualifications in the job search industry to help you or that makes them an expert.
  12. Does the contract offer a money back guarantee? If it does, ask to speak to a person that has actually gotten their money back. If they say they have never had to refund money, RUN. Any company in business dealing with the public will always have given refunds unless you are their first customer or they are lying. Either way, RUN.
  13. Try not to pay up front, but rather as they deliver the services.
  14. Pay on a credit card. Time the charge to give you the maximum amount of time to test what they promise. You can at least dispute the charge if they don’t deliver.

These companies are out there preying on those that need help. They give everyone a bad name.

Remember, no one but you can find you a job. All others can do is help guide you and facilitate you. If you need that, those services are available from professionals. Get a personal referral yourself. Don’t be sold by someone calling you.


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