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Part 2 of 2: -Tips for Job Seekers.

Preamble:

From time to time, people may want to find other opportunities and move from one company to another. As a Job Seeker, we try to keep our resumes up to date with the most pertinent information.  Then post them on Job Boards or hand them out at Employment Fairs.  For Staffing Agencies / Recruiters, you search the various sites looking for people who match the Job Descriptions that companies share with you.  Many Staffing Agencies / Recruiters also participate in local Job Fairs collecting resumes and talking with hundreds of potential candidates. Sounds pretty simple, right?

I’ve had the pleasure to speak with a number of people on both sides of the table.  This document was put together to address some issues that people complain about from both sides.  It’s here for refence to help people maintain a high level of professionalism as a Job Seeker and Staffing Agent/recruiter.

From here on I will refer to a Job Seeker as a “Seeker” and a Staffing/Recruiting person is a “Staffer”.

This is a 2 part Article.  Part 1 will deal with tips for Staffers and Part 2 will be tips for Seekers.

The intent of this article is to help the Talent/Staffing Hunters stay Professional in the way they approach the Job Seekers.  We’ve all seen how pushy some Staffers are.  We’ve also seen how unprofessional many of them are when approaching or interacting with a Seeker.  This article is also to help those Seekers deal with unprofessional Staffers and Staffing Agencies.

Sad to say, we live in an age that people from some countries are stealing Seekers information, ID and claiming to be someone that they are not.  How many times are candidates hired for a position that they falsified their information?  You the Seeker is in control of your Destiny and Career, Not the Staffer.  They are there to help you find a new opportunity, nothing more.

Part 2: Tips for Job Seekers

1)      The most important tip:  Be completely open and honest in your Resume and while being interviewed.  If you misrepresent yourself, it will come to the surface and you will not be interviewed or hired.

a)      If you have items in your Resume that are not factual, you could be dismissed for them.  Ensure your Resume is 100% accurate.

b)      If you had someone else write the resume based upon interview questions with you, ensure that whatever they put into the Resume is 100% actual/factual.

c)      If you want to embellish items in your resume, make sure that you do not go overboard and you can speak to them.  Nothing worse that having “something-X“ in your resume and asked about it.  If you can’t talk about it, it speaks volumes that you just placed it in your resume.

2)  Make sure that your resume is in a machine-readable format so it can be ingested easily into a systems database for you.  This goes for all of the large Job Placement web sites.  If your resume is really impressive but it gets ingested to a Job Site all askew, maybe it’s time to rethink your resume layout.  Spending time re-entering information from your resume into the Job Site?  Again, rethink or research how a standard resume should look.  You should not have to spend an hour on a Job Site re-typing in your resume after it was ingested. 

3)  Do not accept pressure phone calls.  There are a great deal of underhanded things that various Staffers will do. One of them is to try and manipulate or “pressure sell” the position to you.  Don't be afraid to stand your ground with a staffer.  This is your job placement and you must be happy talking with the staffer and the opportunity.

4)  Be aware that many Staffers may not be in your Country and masking their phone numbers or using VOIP to give the Caller ID shown to you as something local. For instance, the phone number shows up from California or New Jersey, but the caller is actually in India, Pakistan or some other country.  Be wary of these.  Many are frauds trying to steal your information or identity. If you hear what sounds like a call center in the background, question it.  It may be a PII harvesting scam!

5)  If you get an interview with the Hiring Manager or company but the recruiter insists upon being in the conversation, as why.  It is normal for the potential Candidate (Seeker) to be in the interview with the company representatives and not include the recruiter.  If the Recruiter demands that they be involved, ask questions.  This is far outside the “normal” for any phone interviews.

6)  If you get a Job Description and you feel you are a good candidate and have been looking for more than a month, request the name of the Client/Company.  It looks bad to have your name submitted by more than 1 Staffer.  You should be aware of who you have been submitted to.  If the Staffer refuses to tell you, again explain the situation and about no overlap to potential Employers/Clients.  If they refuse, move on.  The Staffer should share information with you so YOU can make the decision to submit your name.

7)  Remember, this is YOUR name and reputation being looked at.  Protect yourself as best you can.  Ask questions and request information sharing to make decisions.

8)  If you get an email with a Job Description and there are the following lines in the email:

1. Full Name:

2. Email:
3. Phn:
4. Current Location:
5:Work Authorization
6. Best time to reach you***:
7.Date of birth
8.Updated resume (according to the JD)**
9:Employer details (Optional)
10.Expected salary
11.Reference 
12.Skype ID
13.Availability

14.Passport status.

 15.Passport Number

 

DO NOT give out any information up front!  This may be a scam trying to get information from you.  There may be no job behind this.  Do not fall for this.  Especially do not give out the following:

a)    Full Name.  Why?  They already have your name or the name you prefer to go by.  Don’t give out any information until you are deep into the process.

b)    Email, They already have it, why do they need it again?

c)     Phone (they need to set up a scheduled date and time. Many just want to constantly call you)

d)    Date of Birth (see information on this within this article)

e)    Employer Details (what do they want to do with your current employer information?)

f)      Reference ?   Do not give out any References up front.  This should ONLY be shared much later into the process.

g)    Skype ID.   Do not give this out (if you use Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp or others) They will never leave you alone on Skype (etc.).  Ask the Client to set up the meeting.

h)    Passport Status  Why?  You haven’t even started the interview process. What do they need this for ?   I’ve seen some that require your Passport number.  Don’t share anything you do not need to.

i)      Passport Number ?   DO NOT give out your Passport ID to strangers.  The ONLY time that the Passport ID is used, is when you use it as a form of ID when hired for a position.

 

There are a great deal of SCAMS that will use this information against you.  Do you know the person that the email is sent from?  If not, why give them your information?  It is more important to set up the tone of the conversation and if you are interested in the Job Description.

9) Do not accept ANY Job Offers or Job Descriptions from anyone with a Free Email account (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.).  These are a high probability that it is a scam / spam, just do not fall for it.  If there is a real opportunity, they can email you from their Company email server with their Company Email Address. Otherwise, walk away.  There are a very few exceptions to this.  If you personally know the Staffer and already know they are sending Opportunities to you from their personal accounts.  But still, be wary just in case.

10)  When you receive the email for a potentially great opportunity, research the sender and/or their Company.  Take the actual name of the Staffing Firm and Google it!  Read some reviews about the company.  See if the email you received is legit or not. 

11)  If a Staffer comes back and states “what rate are you looking for”, ask what is the rate that the Client has in mind.  This is a trick move to get you to submit you at a lower rate.  This is especially underhanded if the Staffer is the one hiring you for a Contract that they have.  They will try to under pay you for your talent.

 a)   You can always give them a much higher rate and state that you are “negotiable”. Most Staffers already know the rate.  Get them to disclose this.   As an example, if you say the rate is $40/hr but the  Staffer knows that they can go as high as $75, they will not tell you this.  Just like negotiating a sales.  Start high, meet where you really want to be.

12)  Get the information in an email.  Many Staffers will pull a bait and switch on you.  They'll lead you in on the phone, get you comfortable then pull the rug out from you trying to place you in a position that you’re not on board about.  Many staffers are very underhanded. They’ll talk with you on the phone about Opportunity X, but then try to place you in Opportunity S. This is what I mean by underhanded.  Get the Job Description emailed to you.

13)  If the Staffer asks you to sign or respond to a “Right to Represent” email or letter, READ IT! Some Staffers will use this to try and slip in something that you never talked about.

 a)      If the “Right to Represent” contains the following line:

 

Any misrepresentation of information at any point of the process starting from Submission of resume, documents, interview and delivery/ offer confirmation is liable to be sued. 

Ask questions.  This statement is threatening and it does not belong in any “right to represent”.  Tell the Staffer to remove this line.  If not, take a step back.  This is a very unprofessional statement for any contract or agreement.

14)  IF you do accept an offer, make sure it is in writing, not a verbal offer.  Make sure it is on the Company Letterhead if emailed over. Many companies will still overnight you the offer.  This is the preferred way to do a transaction or by a Fax or other secure transfer methods.

15)  Do not openly email a staffer with PII information (Personal Identifiable Information).  Think of it this way, if you send an email with this information (SSN, DOB, etc.)  and your personal email is not encrypted, who else has access to this information?  Who else can steal your SSN or PII ?

a)      Be wary of some Staffers.  Ask questions, ask for follow up emails. Ask for verification where needed.

b)      Be Cyber Security Aware! If asked to email any onboarding documents that contain your PII information.  DO NOT:

1.      Email a filled out and signed copy back to them. FAX it to them OR

A.    Use a trusted Cloud Storage Provider that allows a link to your content. Once they have downloaded it, remove the document. 

B.     Encrypt the documents that you filled out into a secure archiving format with a password.  Send them 2 emails.  1 with the encrypted archive document to them and the last email with the password OR ask them to call you for the password.  I personally use 7-zip to password protect the documents.  So should you !

16)  Regarding your SSN. The only times you should share this if things are moving forward and they want to do a background check on you. Usually the check is done by the employer not the Staffer.

a)  If the background check is with the Staffer, ask why. Protect yourself from nefarious Staffers that may not be upfront with information.  Ask questions. If the Job is not with the Staffer, then ONLY the People hiring you should have your PII data!

b) If the Job or contract is with the Staffer, investigate and and Google the staffing agency or Consulting Firm.  See what others have to say!  It's always good to go into a situation as aware as you can be about that situation.

17)  If a seeker demands your Date of Birth BEFORE setting up interviews, this is highly frowned upon and may be illegal as well. Requesting your DOB, is one way staffers use age discrimination against you.  Don't fall for this.  Remind them that it may be illegal to ask for the DOB, your age, when you graduated high school, etc.  There are too many Staffers who will openly discriminate against you.  Protect yourself.

18)  Sharing of References should only be done IF you passed their rounds of interviews, telephonic or in person and want to start setting up the onboarding process.  Usually this means they require the references for their check.  Some Staffers want to keep your references so they can try to entice them with other jobs.  Be aware of this.

a)      For your References, have a phone number and email address for them.  Tell the employer to please email them first and schedule a time.  No one likes cold calls.  Many people ignore numbers they do not know on their phones.

19)  If you exchange emails and set up a date and time to make a phone call, please do everything in your power to keep that appointment.  It is very unprofessional to have a meeting arranged and not show up.  If something unseen comes up, drop an email to the Staffer explaining why you need to change the date and time or cancel.  Be upfront with them.

20)  Make sure that you have the most recent copy/version of the Job Description.  Some Staffers and Companies may change this up on you.  I’ve actually had the pleasure (?) of traveling for an interview and it was for a completely different position.  It seems either the Staffer or the Company changed the JD at the last minute and didn't notify anyone, especially me. They expected me to know this but when we compared JDs, they THEN informed me that I was interviewing for something completely different.  That is really not acceptable.  Be wary of these types.

a)      Google the name of the company for information.  Be aware of who your information is being sent to. Take the time to learn more about the potential Employer!

b)      Google “[company name] pros and cons” to discover what other people have to say about the company.

c)      Do your homework!  Make sure that both the Staffer and Company are legit.  I have heard of nightmares where people showed up at an address and there was no company there. This does happen on occasion.

 

 The contents within this article are Copyrighted and the Intellectual Property of Steve Thomas. No reproduction of this article or contents is allowed without specific authorization.

(c) 2020, All Rights Reserved.

   

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