Sad to say, but when times are bad there are always people who try to profit from those affected by the downturn.
In this case, the victims are unemployed or underemployed individuals who are eager or sometimes desperate to find work or wanting to present themselves in the most favorable light to prospective employers.
Here are three services to avoid if you’re looking for a job:
- Job Placement Agencies that Charge the Job Seeker a Fee
These scam artists post compelling ads that boast “private access” to job postings or guaranteed job placement. It sounds too good to be true, and it is.
They collect a fee ranging from $300-$500, only to provide on line listings anyone could have found themselves, if you can even get them to respond to you once you’ve paid them. Legitimate placement or employment agencies collect a fee from the employer who is seeking to fill positions, and they receive payment only when the employer hires their candidate.
Tip: Never pay money to an agency claiming to be able to “place” you in or guarantee you a job. Rather, inquire about job listings from legitimate, established agencies whose fees are paid by the employers. Better still, hone your strategic networking skills and be the first to learn about openings before anyone else.
- Online Resume Preparation Services
It may seem the easy way out of devoting the necessary time to revise your resume, but buyer beware. I’ve seen poor examples of resumes created by online services that charge hundreds of dollars and in each case, the resume needed an overhaul. The fact is, no one can write an effective resume for you without your full engagement in the process. Your input is vital to creating a document that accurately reflects what you want to highlight for any given job.
Tip: Avoid online résumé prep services. Instead, purchase a well-respected résumé guide like “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Résumé” that presents several formats with useful tips on how to word and format your life relevant experiences. Or engage the services of a career counselor who will work with you to create a winning document.
- Online Career Advice
Everyone likes to give advice, and some Internet sites are now charging large sums of money for career-related information without any training or background to back it up.
Professional career counselors typically have a master’s degree in counseling or career development along with considerable experience in career offices at colleges or universities or in corporate outplacement organizations. They are skilled in helping you assess your current situation as well as identify and evaluate options in the marketplace. Many are recognized by the National Career Development Association that holds its members to ongoing professional development standards.
Tip: Choose your guides and advisors wisely in your career transitions. Inquire about their background and relevant training to determine the career-related expertise they offer that will assist you with your goals.