Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Job hunters need different lessons

Like others who have become unemployed, I have had to make adjustments to my life and am living with the fear that I may lose my house and credit rating. Well, the house is just concrete and glass, the credit rating is just a number and I can get both back in time, but there are other losses – I mean my cats – that I may lose if I lose the house.

True, everything is just stuff, but I have my valuable board games and books to worry about.

But my worries are nothing compared to those less fortunate than I. My whining is a bore, even to me, when I read about married people with children, single adults with children and others with little or no savings who are suddenly part of their employer’s plan to reposition itself for the future – by laying them off.

It’s not easy being in the job market right now, and I worry that some folks are going into the realm of unemployment unaware that they are so very vulnerable to being scammed right now.

I visited the library on Wednesday, Jan. 28, and saw a number of people waiting to use the library’s computers. It’s almost a diabolical combination because the library’s hours are being cut back, limiting access even more. I’m there just to borrow books I cannot afford to buy; they’re there to try to find a job. At least I can sit at my computer at home and job hunt at my leisure, but they have to watch the big electronic board and wait their turn. It’s so unfair.

Those folks trying to find a job now are also at a disadvantage because they may not realize, as I have learned in the past several months since learning of my layoff and then being laid off, that many of the jobs posted on job sites are not actual jobs but “opportunities” to be a commissioned sales person, multi-level marketing or front person for an outright fraud. Not only commercial job sites but even Florida’s state job site is absolutely rife with fake postings. I mentioned earlier that Prudential real estate is mass-posting hundreds of identically worded jobs every day, and other companies are also mass-posting jobs, and drowning out postings by real employers.

I’ve read articles in the news media about people being scammed by postings they found on Monster.com, CareerBuilder, Craigslist and so on, getting themselves drawn into “secret shopper” schemes and other postings that promise good pay, benefits and a feeling of self-worth but deliver only pain.

I at least am experienced in terms of what to look for in a job posting, and am a bit more aware of the warning signs of a fake job posting. I am kind of harsh on employers, but the ads that I’ve answered and that have answered me back have mostly been on the level. I guess I’m just picky about what ads I answer. The old adage holds: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

These are difficult times. Scam artists know that people looking for work after a layoff may be sitting on thousands of dollars in cash from savings and severance (if any) that they need to survive the next few months, and the bad guys are eager to move that money into their column. Those who are inexperienced with computers, lack access to computers or are inexperienced with the complexities of searching for a job online are at a distinct disadvantage. It would be nice if Florida would help by making a job site that was significantly more user friendly and less open to abuse by pseudo-employers, but I suppose in tough times the needs of those in need are just not a priority.

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January 29, 2009 - Posted by | Living in the modern age, The jobless chronicles | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Job posting sites such as Monster and Career Builder are useless in the age of person-to-person networking over the internet. Job seekers should look to people they know or have worked with previously to find new opportunities. This is why frequent activity on LinkedIn and to a certain extent Facebook is highly recommended for job seekers. I believe I provided you similar advice a few months ago.

    Comment by Rob Safuto | January 30, 2009 | Reply


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