Job Search Scams and How to Avoid Them

Job Search Scams Magic Button

How do you determine job search scams from real job opportunities?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a magic button for life’s problems? I can think of so many instances when it would come in handy.

Click ~ my house is clean.

Click ~ my check book is balanced.

Click ~ This is a real job posting that might actually pan out.

Wouldn’t that last one make your job search sooooooo much easier? Well, life isn’t like a Staples commercial with an Easy Button. However, there are ways to determine if a job posting, recruiter, or other opportunity is for realjob search scams.

As we’ve discussed before, your network is your best bet in discovering new job opportunities.

If you hear about an opportunity from someone you know it is more likely it is the real deal. However, in the real world, just like there are no magic buttons, new jobs don’t always fall into our laps from a friend.

We have to hunt them down.

How Recruiting SHOULD Work

Let’s start with recruiting scams. They are very frustrating and waste your time.

Related: 5 Types of Recruiters: Which One Do YOU Need?

Scenario One: Lazy Recruiterjob search scams

Lazy recruiter is looking for people to fill out a job application–not fill a specific job for a client.

Lazy Recruiter looks at job boards, finds an open position, and then starts looking for qualified candidates online. This is where you come in. Lazy Recruiter found your resume or LinkedIn profile and determined you were qualified. Lazy Recruiter contacts you and talks up the opportunity like you are the only person who could possibly do this job. AAAAAAAnd, asks you to fill out a job application. Sound familiar?

This is the first red flag.

Related: Reasons to Avoid Filling Out Job Applications

Quite frankly, Lazy Recruiter didn’t do anything for you that you couldn’t do on your own.

The difference: If Lazy Recruiter does happen to provide the winning application to the hiring company then he or she might get paid a fee. This is legal, but not very productive for the job seeker.

Scenario Two: Professional Recruiter

Professional Recruiter has a contract with a company that has a specific job opening. Professional Recruiter has had several conversations with the hiring manager about the very specific person they are looking for with a specific skill set and experience. They have researched you.

Professional Recruiter contacts you, tells you about the job and spends most of the time trying to impress you. They really want you for this job and they know exactly why. The next step is to set up an interview with you and someone at the company. No application! If they want you this badly why would they annoy you by asking you to do stuff for them?

How to Tell the Difference

Nick Corcodilos, from Ask The Headhunter, gives the following solid advice for recognizing job search scams:

If a recruiter calls you out of the blue:

First ask this:

“Why does your client want me?”

Hopefully you’ll get a sincere response.

Then ask:

“When does your client want to talk with me?”

If the recruiter then asks you to fill out an application, take a test, provide salary info, etc. you can politely (or not) tell him or her take a hike. “Thanks for playing!”

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Happy Hunting!

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