Translating into “Buyer beware!” – the enduring Latin phrase, “Caveat emptor!” contains a warning for anyone contemplating the purchase of a product or service. Had the Internet been in use during the Roman Empire, sages would no doubt have coined a phrase to send a similar alert to job seekers.
The Internet can be the most effective and expedient tool for securing employment. It also provides unscrupulous parties a means of robbing job hopefuls of their funds. Hitting dead ends in their job searches, many people turn to work-at-home jobs advertised on the Internet. Offering salaries too good to be true and demanding fees to “Start earning now!”, the Better Business Bureau reports that only one in every 52 work-at-home proposals is legitimate. Many schemers succeed in sucking in the desperate as they appear to be genuine. Because they promote themselves on huge job boards, they generate the perception that they are reputable. The owners and administrators of these boards, however, are not responsible for investigating the validity of their advertisers’ claims. Therefore, it’s a clear case of “Caveat emptor” when it comes to work-at-home offers.
Some “full service” job search firms also prey upon the unemployed. Their swindle begins with a face-to-face consultation concerning the job seeker’s skills, professional experience, and career objectives. It ends with the promise of employment — for a fee involving thousands of dollars. Included in that fee is the preparation of a resume and cover letter, usually written by a team and usually after the client has completed a one-size-fits-all form containing many questions. Translation: the client does most of the work himself and the no one person in the job search firm really understands the client’s job, thus requiring a number of scratching heads to write the resume and cover letter.
Subsequently, these documents are either blasted electronically to a group of potential employers, or the client is given a list to target on his own. In truth, there is no guarantee that any of these employers is actively hiring. And if they were, there is no guarantee that they would hire a particular candidate. The only person who can, in all honesty, promise another person a job is the person with the authority to hire — not a job search firm.
This form of fraud is especially insidious because if the job seeker balks at the hefty fee, the representative usually asks in a disparaging manner whether or not the individual is serious about securing employment. It is psychological warfare. Caught in the crossfire between unemployment and the promise of a job, the hapless applicant bites and usually kisses his money goodbye.
The bottom line is that no employee should pay anyone to be placed in a job. Companies seeking to fill positions pay external recruiters once an applicant has accepted a formal job offer. Those who do not use recruiters conduct their own searches online, via job fairs, and occasionally, through newspaper advertisements. So bear in mind: if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
The most effective and economical way to secure employment is to take an aggressively active approach to job hunting. Many of our prior articles, which you will find on this site, contain a wealth of information concerning successful job search strategies.
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