As you may have read, recently I was laid off from my job as a Sr. Technical Documentation Writer. I became one of the millions of people searching for a job. As a large majority of people are, I look on indeed.com. There are thousands upon thousands of jobs listed in the vast job titles you are looking for. I found a position that I was interested in and sent my resume. Everything looked on the up and up. Nothing out of the ordinary when the “Apply Now” button took me to the company’s website. I supplied my information and uploaded my resume. Shortly after, I received an email response that I admit, infuriated me. So, today, we are going to discuss the importance of protecting yourself from job posting scams.
The position I applied for was as a website editor. The job responsibilities and requirements were as follows:
RESPONSIBILITIES will include, but not limited to:
To organize groups to sign up and make postings and to approve all postings,
To curate and generate other original content such as news stories, photos and videos in the various categories
Creating postings and lists in your category
Original content writing news stories of interest in your category
Organizing online promotions for new users
Liaison for special accounts for “celebrity users/authors/sponsors
Online and email promotions to attract new advertisers within your category
Knowledge of WordPress, Mail Chimp, Buddypress to create online promotions with these various WordPress Plugins
College degree preferred, but not required
Ability to work from home
Set goals and achieve those goals.
Ability to use various web analytics to create unique reports of traffic and usage of XXXXXXXXXXX (Company name protected to protect myself from possible liability of defamation).
Sounds good, right? Right! Until I got an email from them. Only giving the first part of the email and last part:
Thank you for applying to XXXXXXXX, an Open-Ranked List Social Media Website, with a ground floor opportunity, in a new and growing website business.
If you know anything about the web business, you know content is King and most websites make their money from advertising dollars.
With that said, I am going to present you with an offer! As opposed to becoming an employee, we are offering partnerships where you can become part owner of a going concern, simply for your commitment. Usually you have to pay to get into a business, and we feel the content you create and the work you would do, will be your investment.
Ummm, wait. What? I didn’t ask for an “opportunity to invest”. I submitted my resume in good faith for a JOB. Continuing on…
With that said, if you want a job with XXXXX, you will have to wait. If you want to become a partner, with a stake in the business, with a career on your own time, you are going to have to log onto the site and contact XXX.
Send me a letter of interest or what you think about the site. Make a posting to the site. I will know who it is and so will anybody that knows your “username”, so pick one that you like!
I’m basically going to stop here and tell you this fun fact – only about 1 in 50 will even get past this point, in the Career-Seeking process, so thanks again and good luck!!
I had to read this email two times. Completely astonished at what I was reading. I will state here, Employers…. THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO SHOW YOUR EMPLOYEES THEIR VALUE. If your post is actually for an unpaid position? State that in the description. People can then at least send you their personal information, that is on a resume, knowing what to expect.
I get that people have to “pay their dues” to get ahead in certain job fields. But when you post a job on a globally leading job site, unless you specifically state “this is not a paid position”, then people expect that they are applying for…. Hold on…. A JOB. Not an OPPORTUNITY.
So, I replied to the owner of this company and to summarize, said that I was reporting his job listing as a scam, and as a shady way of getting people added to their email list. I wasn’t interested in providing him free content for the “opportunity” to become an investor.” That people are looking for jobs, and as I am laid off, I need a job that will pay my bills, and put food on my table and to take care of my son.
He replied with “You definitely failed the test! Thank you! We will delete your file!”. To which I was going to continue on my merry way. He then sent me a SECOND email, not even associated with the email stream we had going. No topic in the subject line. His email said “Further more we don’t owe you a thing! Im sorry for you situation but we cant help you! Good luck!”
Hmm. Aside from his blatant disregard for spelling and lack of punctuation other than exclamation points, did I say he owed me anything? No, I did not. So I did a final reply of “LOL. Wow. I never once indicated that you “owed me anything”. You just proved how unprofessional you are. That is not a good trait for a business owner. Good luck with your attempted venture :)” I then reported their listings to indeed.com. Which, by the way? Is very hard to do. I thought I had seen an option that we could report a job from the posting, but it wasn’t there. So, after a half an hour, I finally found where I could report the job.
So, why am I going through all of this? Because I don’t like seeing people take advantage of others who are trying to get ahead in the world. Those who are seeking legitimate employment and not being lead on a merry go round and hoops to jump through. Begging for the “opportunity” to do something that only benefits the company. Employers need to understand, employees are valuable resources. Not one that they can and/or should take advantage of.
This “gentleman” boss didn’t even need to reply to my email. And if he chose to, certainly not with the snarky response he did. I assure you buddy, that is one “test” I was QUITE happy to have failed. I looked at their website and honestly? I’d love to shout their company name from the rooftops. They have posts, which are only in the company’s name. Which, I guess is possible as other’s may not have taken him up on his “opportunity”. But so many people share the posts too. Although they have over 500 tweets going on, they only have one follower on Twitter and that person hasn’t been active in over a year and a half. So, I don’t really count them.
I will say, the job description did not even hint at the typical signs of a job scam.
If you are looking for a job, please, I beg you. Make sure you are protecting yourself from job posting scams. This one didn’t look like it, although, in hindsight, I should have seen it in the job posting of “fun fact – 1 in 50 will fail this test.”. And I take ownership of that.
Furthermore, I will always fight to protect employees and job hunters. While I love technology, it is scary for the person who is honestly trying to make their way around. Protecting yourself from job posting scams should not be another way they have to watch their backs on.