I save my job spam for you!

November 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve been saving up my job spam just for you guys!  Yay!  You’re welcome!

While plugging away at the worst time of year to be looking for a new position, I almost find it, um, <comforting? reliable? dependable?> to know that at any point in a day, I can look at my email account and find, um, <excellent? insane? scary?> job “offers” from scammers.  Yet weekly I see another news link detailing the financial loss-embarrassment-humiliation of honest job seekers who are desperate, and who unwittingly fall into the clutches of these fiends (yes, fiends – if this were 1810, they would be selling you snake oil from the back of a wagon, “for your health.”)

So without further ado – here are my top three job spam emails of the week! (ideas for researching at the end) – enjoy!

Such promise!

Hello,

After viewing your resume on <insert major job board here>, we have decided to contact you regarding an offer. We have an exciting opportunity with our company in your area with no need of relocation.

Requirements:

  • Must have Microsoft Office Intermediate experience, checking emails 3 times/day
  • US citizen or permanent residence/green card holder
  • Experience: N/A
  • Required Travel: NO
  • Relocation: NO

Benefits:

  • Attractive bonuses and commissions with each order
  • No contact with our clients
  • No Sales
  • No Fees
  • You can start tomorrow

Salary + Commissions:

  • Compensation: $85,000 – $95,000 per year
  • Employee Type: Full-Time/Part-Time Employee
  • Fix salary after first month
  • 401(k) plan

Hiring Department

Yes, that was all there was.  Imagine!  85-95K for checking email 3 times a day!  No experience necessary! No travel! No relo!  (No reply method, either – scam much, or just getting started in the industry?)
So sad, and so scam…

From Mr. Williams Nana,

Attention: Dear Friend

This message might meet you in utmost surprise. However, it’s just my urgent need for foreign partner that made me to contact you for this transaction. I got your contact from internet search while I was searching for a foreign partner. I am Williams Nana. A banker by profession in Burkina-Faso, West Africa and currently holding the post of secretary to foreign remittance director in our bank. I need your urgent assistance in transferring the left over funds of ($7.6Million Dollars) belong to our late customer who died along with his entire family during the Iraq crisis on October 2006.

The deceased customer used his wife as the next of kin but unfortunately the wife died along side with him leaving nobody for the claim. According to our banking policy if the fund remains unclaimed for the period of 5years then the fund will be transfer into the reserve bank as unclaimed bill. I don’t want the fund to go into the bank treasury and as such, let’s claim the fund now. You can see the news on BBC and CNN regarding their death.

<Two legit links to major internet news sites here – I took them out for your convenience – what a creative bunch!>

Hence; I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared between us in the ratio of 60% for me and 40% for you if you agree to handle this business with me. Further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as I receive your return mail immediately as soon as you receive this letter. Trusting to hear from you immediately.

Thanks & Best Regards,

Mr. Williams Nana

Dear Mr. Nana,
I honestly can’t print what I’m thinking right now.  Please go scam your neighbors in Burkina-Faso or something.  I’m trying to find a job, not an outlet for stupid.
No thanks and no regards…
…try, try again!

JOB OFFER

Our establishment is deslighted to propose you the position of Secret Shopper in Corporex LLC after finding on your autobiography at CareerBuilder online. Our personnel department did its best to examine your CV and remained to be pleased. We hope that your skills will be among our most valuable assets.

Necessary Criteria for being employed:

  1. Age: older than 27
  2. Internet access
  3. 3-5 hours of free time every day for performing your professional assignments
  4. Certificate of good conduct

Job Benefits:
As it goes, Secret Shopper is an superb way for employees to earn profit in the process of providing feedback, making comments, making of, commenting out to company. This is a real challenge for you to get to the top of the career rejoicing at things you like above all. For instance, one may enjoy meal in restaurant or purchase things in supermarkets reveling in life and helping company at the same time.

Remuneration:
Your every month earned income may come to $1,500-2,000.

Time Limitation of the Position:
On account of the great amount of applicants for this office, this job is time-bound. So, it is strongly recommended for you to provide us the necessary information about yourself ASAP.

To become the contributor of our establishment:

  1. Please go to our site: Corporex LLC <unlinked for your personal safety>
  2. Register yoursel
  3. Download, read take a close look at thoroughly a agreement and sign it in a mandatory way.
  4. Tell us the closest Walmart shop to you. Specify the exact address. Five shop are max. In Accepting this application, you confirm that your job will be on at-will basis and resign any complaints against Corporex LLC and its personnel.

About Corporex LLC:
Our corporation is engaged in collaboration with other corporations to perfect quality on an international scale by applying anonymous resources. We cooperate alongside with over 300 entities world-wide. Our main work includes marketing and cooperation with merchandising firms, private investigation companies, training organizations and other entities that are drawn in Mystery Consumerism services. Our member entities deal with their consumers in order to ascertain the process of improving level of attendance.

Regards Sincerely

Dear Regards Sincerely,

First, may I compliment you on your unique name?  Is your nickname Ree-Ree?  What was your mama thinking?
Now, on to the matter at hand… how many fake websites do you people have anyway?
Yours Truly (you can just call me YT)
PS – another question, please  Is your group also responsible for the $20K in free WalMart Gift Card Offers I’ve received so far this week?  Sheez, such generousity!  If you keep this up, in a month or so, I’ll own the entire chain!

Read, research, and beware

  • Read the email. Look for words like “exciting,” “time-bound,” and if it sounds too good to be true, ref: what your mama told you.
  • Copy keywords from the email.  Paste into Google Search.  Do the research for about 3 pages.  You’ll get the clue.
  • If it sounds fishy, don’t click any links in the email.  You could possibly download something nasty, like phishing software, to your computer. Beware!

Seriously,

Hey – need some job search inspiration?

November 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

I read like words are going out of style while I try my best to nail down (and seem to continually refine) my strategy to find “the next great position.”  There’s a whole lot of stuff – good, bad, plus copied-from-other-blog information – but I’ve found some thought-provoking information here. 

Try clicking through the links – even if you’re not over 40.  I guarantee you’ll find something you can use in your search!

With a toast to the good blogs out there! <clink!>

Job Search – Wildcards

November 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Am I writing this for me or am I writing it for you?  Flip a coin?

So many finger-tip resources available from your keyboard!  Hints, tips, advice, case studies – a veritable treasure chest of information at your job-hunting feet!  Or is it?

  • Clean up your resume!
  • Target your resume!
  • Plug in those keywords!
  • Video your resume!
  • Newly graduated?
  • Over 40?  Over-qualified? Under-qualified?
  • Let us review your resume for free!
  • Been looking too long, well read this!

Being a huge research fan, I believe in reading everything I can get my hands on to improve/analyze/restructure whatever my focus,  but not at the expense of  time management -or sanity, for that matter.  When you’re dedicated to finding the right position, even if you’ve been downsized, you still have a job -only now your career is Looking for a Job.  Remember to keep that in the forefront of your task list at all times.

I’ve shared a few obviously weird postings, made a couple of  reading suggestions, and now I’m going to share a real-life experience of my own.  Take from it what you will.

Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and play a wildcard. One of the suggestions I’ve read?  Make a phone call.  Check any communication from the posting recruiter, and if you find a connection, a name, a phone number, and no mention of “NO PHONE CALLS,”  pick up the phone and make a call.

An Interview with Me, by Me, about My Wildcard Call

What led you to an interest in this particular Internet posting in the first place?

“Search tools on CareerBuilder, actually. As I was setting myself up to work from home searching for the right position via Job Boards, I decided to play crazy with the tools for a bit.  I have this weird attraction to the logic behind search tools – something of a hangover from my last position.  I entered a position description and keywords for one of my most confident skills, then decided to look for something within 10 miles of my zip code.  Since I am in the Northern ‘burbs of Atlanta, that was a Wildcard.  There’s not much up this way.  But what the heck?”

And you found?

“Perfection on a page!  Eight minutes from my house!  Office management, wholesale consumer goods industry, channel marketing, web content development, excellent customer service skills, experienced,educated,  mature, flexible, able to leap multi-tasking in a single bound – so me!  Oh – and the applicant had to agree that they lived within an easy commute of the office location!  Snap!

So what did you do next?

I carefully updated my resume, including the keywords as found in the post.  I was honest, I did not over-state my qualifications.  Then I crafted a short, concise cover letter, highlighting my commute qualifications, of which I was pretty darned proud at the moment.  Spell check, proofread for clarity, submit!  Tah- Dah!

And then?

Well, I must admit, I started at the wrong end.  I researched AFTER I submitted my resume.  Fortunately this time it turned out OK, for a while.

Why OK?

I checked the URL ownership records, the Alexa history, the owner’s name (and yes, I had enough information to track him on numerous sites).  Everything added up to what was posted in the description.

Why OK  “only for a while”?

The physical drive to test the commute on a Sunday revealed:

  • The office location was close
  • It was a very small office, in a very small office park – so if you import and sell over the Internet, where is your warehouse?  There isn’t a warehouse within 10 miles of that location.  Hmm…
  • It looked like the owner was working on Sunday.  A nice Infinity was the only car in the parking lot – right in front of the office door.   Clues, clues, clues! And some curiousity.

So I justified my questions in my head:

  • He’s so busy he has to work on Sunday.  He needs me!
  • Maybe he dropships from a central warehouse, and keeps his main office close to home?  Family friendly!
  • That little office must be really nice inside.  How clever to keep your main site close and low cost but comfortable – good strategy.
  • So his locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, as listed on his website (complete with toll-free numbers), may be field reps.  Great idea!
  • So what if his LinkedIn profile indicates his first job was in cardboard boxes – we all make leaps of faith in our careers, and sometimes they work out!

Weren’t you over-justifying?

Of course I was.  But remember, it was early in this process. I was playing a wildcard – and oh how I wanted it to work out! Also, by the time I’d “test-commuted” back home, I had a whole nest of virtual tests to take – I’d cleared the first hurdle!  Over-justification out the window, I eagerly took the tests.  What fun!  MS Office – no sweat.  Personality profile questions – click, click, click those radio buttons – agree, neutral, disagree.  Oh, I see the re-questions coming up now.   So clever these peeps!  Whoops! Roadblock – my favorite profile question – “Employees always take something of value from their employers.”  Well of course they do – experience, new skills, new strategies, good friends. Wait!  Are they talking about pencils?  Neutral.  Momentary panic – does that make me look like a thief? Oh the conundrums.

And then what?

Within a few minutes after taking the tests, I received a very cordial thank you email (read”auto-responder”) from the Company Owner, complete with name, number plus extension, and address.  How transparent can you get?  I liked that!  Kind of made me feel like we were already on a nice road to chatting in person.

So did you?

Yes, but I made the call.  After waiting a polite three business days, I picked up the phone.  Professional auto-answering program picked up, nicely done, punched in the extension at the appropriate time, and Hello!  “I am Laura 2.0, an applicant for your open position as advertised on CareerBuilder.  I submitted my resume and cover letter, took the tests, and was wondering if you had any more questions about my qualifications?  I know I may be catching you at a bad time, so if you would prefer I call again, please let me know what is convenient for you.”

Whew, couldn’t believe I sounded so sane over the roar of butterflies in my stomach.

And the response?

It was highly evident that I caught him off guard.  He stuttered and “umm-ed” a bit, made like he was looking for my paper, then recovered and said, “Yes, I want to talk now.  Let me tell you what I’m looking for…”

Well that was lucky, right?

Kind of.  He proceeded to tell me things I already knew from my research, but I listened patiently – thirteen years in the business, used to sell promotional gadgets, now imports and sells wholesale, has several divisions, looking for an Executive with Sales Management Experience to take over operations of one of his divisions.”

Excuse me?

Yep, nothing like what was stated in the online job post.  Even better, once he finished his spiel, he wanted to know why I was interested in the position, and he was rather blunt about it.

So what did you tell him?

In a nutshell, the truth.  Downsized from the same type of online industry he was in (but not promotional materials), looking for the next great position, found his ad, met his qualifications, and was excited about the dream commute plus my proven talents and abilities that could help his company grow!

How did he take that?

I’m quoting here:  “Industries will usually stretch their resources in order to keep talented employees, even in a economic slowdown.  So why did they toss you?”

Um…were you ready for that?

Um, no. I did not have my elevator pitch ready.  I was not about to get into the business model of my former company (none of his business), the fiduciary reasons they were restructuring (absolutely none of his business), and – while I was quickly arranging some kind of tasteful response to his question – I began to hear toddlers in the background.  He was working from home – on a Tuesday, at 10 am. Not a deal-killer, of course.  Working from home can be great.  But before I answered he announced “Listen, I have people in my office waiting to talk to me.  Can I call you back?”

So what did you learn from this?

Lots.

Number one – This guy was a jerk.  He spent the bucks to advertise for a position that did not exist.  He had no tact or diplomacy.  He may have been close by, but he was also rude.  So I learned that I did not want to work for him.

Number two – Develop and memorize the elevator pitch first, always.

Number three deserves a drumroll – if it looks too good to be true, then it is.  Thanks Mom!

Moral of this story? Go ahead – pitch out an occasional wildcard while looking for your next great position.  Note your mistakes candidly, don’t take them personally – this is business, after all. Then move on.  It’s out there, somewhere.  Your job is to find it!

Happy hunting!


Interview Tips – a good link

November 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

Practice, practice, practice

This video is targeted to the AARP crowd, but contains good information about the basics for ANYONE looking for a job right now.  Plus, it’s a cute format.  Yes – there’s a miniscule ad at the beginning, but it doesn’t last long.  Click to enjoy!

Best!

Dear Clueless Recruiter,

October 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

WOW!  How perfect is this job for me?  For a mere maximum 15 hours per week, I can earn 3K per month?  Just for processing payments for your company in my region?  How fabulous is this? May I please present my qualifications to you briefly, of course:

  • 10 years ago, my husband went to use his debit card for a small purchase.  It was declined.  We had plenty of money in the bank, or so we thought.  Turns out someone had “phished” our account.  The bank, once made aware, kindly refunded all sums (but couldn’t do much about his embarrassment).
  • 6 years ago, my husband got a call from the bank.  “Mr. 2.0, did you or someone with authorization to use your credit card just try to take 5K from an ATM in Madrid?”  Uh, no.
  • 2 years ago, my husband got a call from the bank.  “Mr. 2.0, did you just try to transfer $2,500.00 from your account via wire?”

Two times burned and a jovial sort, my husband asked the bank to keep him updated on their investigation.  Turns out, some poor maple syrup farmer, down on his luck in Maine, had answered an online job ad to “process payments.”

As a condition of employment, he was to receive a check via mail from a “client” inside the US, place said check in his bank account, then wire 80% of the money to another account outside the US.

That particular money, by the way, was ours.  And no, nobody asked us if that was okay.

So, dear recruiter, in summary – please take your valuable offer and drive it to a local police department.  The closest one will be fine.  Show the offer to the officer on duty, and please ask them to verify that you are:

  • A real person, who goes by this name
  • A real company who does business in an honest and above-board manner
  • That you have a successful history of transacting this type of business from an office and not a jail cell

Once that is done, please have the officer verify same, in front of a legally-registered notary, and then email a scan of said document, plus the telephone number of the station you visited, and the name of the officer you worked with.  Once I confirm verification, I might actually consider responding to your ad.

Yours truly,

 

 

PS – NOBODY representing a large international company recruits via a Gmail address.

Mystery Shoppers – Now there’s a career opportunity!

October 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

Word of Warning – Know Your Crazies!

Yes, if you market your job-seeking self on a free Internet board, you essentially throw out the welcome mat for your new friends, The Crazies.  And trust me, they’ll come knocking.

Enjoy the linguistic lovliness of my new friend, What’s-Her-Name@hotmail.com.  I’ve changed nothing. 

Dear, Laura 2.0

JOB OFFER

Our company is pleased to put forward you the capacity of Secret Shopper in Forward Bsiness LLC after finding on your CV at CareerBuilder online. Our employment office did its best to scrutinize your CV and remained to be pleased. We hope that your skills will be among our most valuable assets.

Necessary Criteria for being employed:

  1. Age: older than 27
  2. Internet access
  3. 3-5 hours of free time every day for carrying out your professional duties
  4. Certtificate of no criminal record

 Job Benefits:
As it goes, Secret Shopper is an ideal way for customers to gain profit in the process of providing feedback, making comments, making of, commenting out to organization. This is a real potential for you to get to the top of the career rejoicing at things you like above all. For instance, one may lunch in café or acquire things in shops reveling in life and promoting company at the same time.

Remuneration:
Your monthly wages may reach $1,500-2,000.

Time Limitation of the Position:
On account of the great amount of office seekers for this vacancy, this position is time-bound. So, it is strongly recommended for you to send us the necessary information about yourself ASAP.

To become the contributor of our corporation:

  1. Please go to our site: <ok, I lied – I took this out because I don’t want anybody giving them hits>
  2. Register yoursel
  3. Download, read take a close look at thoroughly a agreement and underwrite it necessarily. In Accepting this employment offer, you confirm that your work will be on at-will basis and renounce any claims against <blocked> LLC and its personnel.

About <blocked out again> LLC:
Our company is engaged in work with other establishments to improve capacity on an international scale by applying anonymous resources. We deal together with over 300 corporations internationally. Our main work includes marketing and cooperation with merchandising firms, private investigation companies, training organizations and other companies that are drawn in Ghost Shopping services. Our member organizations deal with their consumers in order to establish the system of enhancing level of services.

Regards Best wishes

<Nope, didn’t take out the name.  There wasn’t one>

Whew!  Gain profit!  Reveling in Life as a career! 

Sound too good to be true?  It is!  Read on…

I’ve received this “time-bound offer” three times now.  Being “career-bound” to the Internet for quite a few years, I smelled the rat at “Subject,”  but just had to entertain myself.

So what do you do, as a dedicated job-seeker like me, when you receive one of these glorious offers?  Sadly enough, some people act on them.  Just last week, the local newspaper published a story about a woman who bought into one of these emails.  It only cost her about $800 bucks.  She was lucky.  Others have lost much more.

I  know your Mama told you, but she was right – if it sounds too good to be true, it is.  Period.

Are you thinking this might be THE ONLY ONE THAT ISN’T? Then here are my simplest suggestions:

  • Check the originating email address (in the “From:” line).  Don’t see one?  Trash it.
  • Is the originating email address from @hotmail.com, @gmail.com or some other readily-available free provider?  Start sniffing for rodents. (hey, mine’s a GMail address – feel free to sniff away there – no rodents!)
  • Is the name of the sender in the From: line completely different from the email address?  (Here’s an example:  Jayne Doe mreischmuck@hotmail.com).  Delete.
  • Check the grammar.  That’s usually the biggest clue and you don’t have to be an English major, either (reference the email above).  Garbage can.
  • If they ask you for ANYTHING about yourself – name, address, ANYTHING that you wouldn’t tell a recently-freed serial killer in normal conversation - Trash it, trash it, trash it.

You’re welcome.  Think I’ll go check my email now – who knows what opportunities await!

Happy Friday to All – and enjoy the weekend.

Job search, from the recruiter side, with love

October 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

for the good ones, that is.

Little known secret:

I spent a bit of time as a recruiter.  Bit.  Remember that part.

I was  a single parent, with some income (due to a flash of business brilliance), with two really liddle kiddles I wanted to hang with.  So I thought to myself, “Self, go to a recruiter and find a part-time job, supplement your income, and only be away from the liddles part of the time.”

I went to a recruiter, and they hired me on-the-spot, part-time, to do their payroll.  The opp paid nicely, the timing was perfect, so I said yes (duh).

There were also short tenures filling in as a recruiter during peak periods, so I know a teensy bit of the inside scoop.  And I’ll share.

Most job recruiters, unless they are really, really lucky, work on a commission-only basis.  What that means is if they don’t hustle, they don’t eat.  And it takes a LOT of hustling to find talented, qualified candidates for a job vacancy, then a lot more hustling to make the network that will lead to a company paying the recruiter for finding this talent.

So recruiters hustle – a lot.  And in this economy (there, I said it), they hustle even harder.  Think of them as real estate agents for humanity.  That make it clearer?

I am not down on recruiters. I have two who are very good friends.  They are intelligent and honest, and they work very hard, with complete professionalism and a set of ethics like you wouldn’t believe.

I’m also utilizing recruiters while I search for a job. Almost all of them have been simply fabulous (you’ll probably hear about them on this blog eventually).

So please don’t think I am in any way down on recruiters, because I’m not.  I’m simply and honestly reporting what I find “out there,” while I feverishly search for the right opportunity, in Atlanta, in (o god here it comes again) this economy.

With Blog Love for job recruiters (the good ones),


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