There’s never a shortage of human scum: people who put their energy into taking advantage of others.
As a jobseeker, you can be taken advantage of too.
That’s why it’s important to know about the various job-search scams to watch out for.
Let’s get started:
1. RESUME/ATS SCAN SCAM
With this scam, jobseekers are told their resumes can’t be read or scanned by the company’s ATS software.
This is how the scam works …
Jobseekers are approached by someone who claims to be with a recruiting firm.
The recruitment firm looks legit at first.
In fact, doing a quick Google search, you may find some recent firm mentions, press releases, and so on.
Being contacted out of the blue by a recruitment firm doesn’t seem strange because …
… active jobseekers often submit their resumes to job boards, hiring agents and companies.
We never know who can access our resumes once they are uploaded to job boards, for example.
So, getting contacted by a recruitment firm doesn’t raise suspicion for most of us.
However, the red flag rises when the recruitment firm tells the jobseeker they have a job they would be perfect for. And, although they could “open the jobseeker’s resume, their ATS system is unable to read it because it’s NOT in the company’s accepted format.”
Avoid This Vegetable
Mentioning the potential job is the CARROT for most jobseekers.
Of course, the promise of the potential job sparks interest.
Coming off as a good Samaritan, the recruitment firm recommends a service to “FIX” the resume …
… for a fee, of course.
The fee for this unnecessary “format fix” is generally affordable; e.g. under $100.
However, these scammers are likely after your credit card number too.
RELATED: The FTC shut down ResumeterPRO in February 2019 for scamming jobseekers with unnecessary resume repair services and requesting an upfront fee to get interviews for exclusive executive positions.
2. COMPUTER-GENERATED RESUME REVIEWS
We’ve all seen the advertisements for free resume reviews.
Not all. But some resume review services are scams.
This is how this scam works …
Some job boards and “self-proclaimed top resume services” offer free resume reviews.
At first, this seems harmless enough.
For example, jobseekers who aren’t getting many job interviews might think THERE IS something wrong with their resumes.
And, getting a thorough resume review can help shed light on exactly what’s wrong with the resume’s content, format, or whatever.
However, these Good-Samaritan resume reviewers are too often “selling reps” in disguise.
These resume reviewers accept large volumes of resumes for review, and the computer system (not a human being!) responds to jobseekers with auto-populated resume reviews.
As you might have guessed, these free review sites provide:
- Generic and irrelevant information
- Content that’s not position, industry, or individual specific — or not specific enough
- Inaccurate recommendations
Stock resume reviews trick a lot of people.
The goal of these services is to MAKE SALES.
Plain and simple.
If you tell a group of just 10 jobseekers that their resumes are inadequate, how many of those could you convert to clients?
You wouldn’t need a high conversion rate … maybe a modest 1%.
I can think of just one resume mill that uses the above “sales tactic” to secure clients and makes $5M in yearly revenue.
Jobseekers at times are vulnerable, especially when they’ve been exposed to a longer than expected job search.
Your best bet is to avoid resume review sites altogether because if they don’t get your money, they steal the confidence you have in your resume.
A recent scam we’ve learned about came from a professional who applied for a contract (independent 1099) job.
The hiring firm asked the contractor for a copy of his driver’s license.
Why the request for a driver’s license?
For a position where he would be an employee, yes, the hiring company would need a copy of the person’s driver’s license to further advance a background check on the new employee.
However, for a contract position, there’s no valid reason IMHO for needing a copy of a driver’s license.