Scams, Shticks or Sure Things?

These days we cannot be careful enough in our job search. We put out resumes, complete profiles, create cover letters and when we get a response, we don’t want to let it go. But are there times when we should back away from the phone? How do we know? I mean, really know? While some people will take advantage in times like this, it’s really up to you to decide what opportunities sound like good ones and which ones you should hang up quickly. Human nature is to believe the good, right? What if there are some people who would take advantage of that? Would you be able to spot them?

Take a look at these three scenarios and you decide:
You get a call from a recruiter with a great job for you: the location is great, doing what you love and the money is more than you’ve ever made. They love you for the position (you haven’t met them, or even phone interviewed yet) and for $25 in cash or money order, you will be guaranteed to be in the top three candidates. No, you don’t need to meet them, they’ve done their research and they really think you are the best candidate. Just send the money and we’ll get back to you.
Scam? Shtick? Sure thing?

Standard call from a recruiter with an OK opportunity (they seem to think it’s great, but I’m not all that excited about selling . . . I’m not sure what, they haven’t quite been very clear on that). I’m not sure what I’d be doing, or where I’d be working. I didn’t catch the name of the company, either, but I’m sure I’ll get their website and check them out. Hmm. Really generic looking website with no direct contact information, nor any mention of who owns the company. You really feel their sense of urgency and they keep saying that if you aren’t interested, there is someone else who would love the job. Am I in or out? Can I think about it? No? OK, I’m in! Yeah, I got a job! Or did I?
Scam? Shtick? Sure thing?

Recruiter calls, talks about my resume, tells me about a job. It’s close to my home, but the dollars are not quite what I want, but I am interested in the work. He wants to set an interview and gives me website info so I can research their company beforehand. I ask a couple of questions, which I get answers to, and am getting excited about the position. I’ve been excited before, however, so I’m a little skeptical right now. I don’t want to blow it. Now I need to get a good nights’ sleep so I’m well rested. And I’ll practice my interview questions while I’m making dinner. I’m getting more and more excited the more I think about it!
Scam? Shtick? Sure thing?

I know things are tough out there right now. I’ve talked to people who say I’m the first call about a job they’ve had in weeks. I get that when someone calls with an opportunity, we want, so bad, for it to be real and certain and mine. But, please be careful. Remember, ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably it’ or, ‘if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck’? There’s a reason that ‘sayings’ have become ‘sayings’. They’ve been proven to be true way too many times.

Be smart about your decisions, your contacts and your money. Make connections with people who you know have your best interests in mind and follow those leads. The right position will come along, and when it does, you’ll know you made the right decisions.

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