Job Seeker Beware

In a recent issue, the New York Times discussed the question of “Job Search Firms: Big Pitches and Fees, Few Jobs”, observing the propensity of many to exploit “the vulnerability of job seekers as they cast about for help in the most difficult job market in decades and encounter a bewildering and largely unregulated array of individuals and businesses offering assistance.”

As the Times reported, “while some customers have benefited from their work, others have accused the companies of using misleading sales tactics.

“‘Career management’ or ‘career marketing’ companies like ITS, which charge large up-front fees, are easy to stumble upon on employment Web sites. Often, as in Mr. Fischman’s case, they contact job seekers after they post their résumés. They usually focus on professionals and managers, massaging their egos by boasting that they accept only the most marketable candidates. Some companies place advertisements that appear to be job postings but instead are lures for sales pitches.

“The offices of several state attorneys general said they had fielded complaints about career counseling companies during this recession.

“‘Many employment services provide valuable help, but others misrepresent themselves and their services in an attempt to take your money,’ said the Illinois attorney general, Lisa Madigan, who succeeded several years ago in having one career counseling company, Bernard Haldane Associates, banned from doing business in the state. ‘To find legitimate agencies for your needs, it’s critical to do your homework first.’”

Many of the services these companies claim to perform for the dedicated job seeker can be done independently, using the free resources of the local public library.

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Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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