Job site trolls and make believe people

I had long avoided the big job sites like Monster and Career Builder because of their sheer size and needle in a haystack odds of success. In hindsight, that was an excellent reason to opt out of anti-targeted sites. The real reason you, or anyone else, should treat them like raw chicken on your kitchen counter is the sheer amount of garbage that will pollute your Inbox, lots more, and always unwanted spam, and because of that spam, relevant emails getting unnecessarily trapped and unseen.

The speed of which these scams opportunities present themselves is breathtaking. Mere minutes, and when you’ve been out of work for awhile, it can cruelly lift your spirits. Then as always, reality takes over.

If you take the offers at face value, your long slog against the tide of joblessness has turned a corner. You are now WANTED, by official sounding, honest-to-goodness American companies. Liberty Mutual, American Income Life Insurance, and the oh-so-official sounding First Command Financial Planning. (Sir yes sir!)

Ever heard of First Command Financial Planning? Nah, me neither. So being the tech savvy bunch we are, first stop is the Google, and before we can even finish typing First Command Financial Planning, the autofill feature adds “scam.” Not a good sign. On the first results page is a review from Yelp, giving it one star. It’s not a pretty story…

“I was nickle and dimed for everything under the sun. The cost of the planning was 300 per year which was very good to me. BUt then I was forced to do my taxes with them and then home mortgage, and more and more, but I finally realized they did nothing…it was all outsourced to other companies. They do not have their own funds either. They use the same thing for everyone.” The writer of this post also says they primarily sell to members of the military. Nice. Thanks for your service.

But you’re skeptical. It’s Yelp for crying out loud, how do you know it’s not just one unhappy customer? Because three results down is the headline “Class Action Lawsuit Against First Command Financial Planning.” Oops. Further down still though, the BBB in Charlotte gives them an “A” though. Confused? Don’t be. CEO’s do not write personal emails in response to unrelated job applications via Career Builder. Good CEO’s of reputable companies do not allow their name to be used as spam either.

As Billy Mays would say, “wait there’s more!” Another email from one “Theresa Roberson” put my Gmail account on high alert: “Warning: This message may not be from whom it claims to be. Beware of following any links in it or of providing the sender with any personal information.” The Google has your back.

“Jonathan Prince” says… “if you are still seeking a rewarding opportunity with a highly-reputable company, please give me a call at your earliest convenience at 7709333897 to schedule an interview.” He’s allegedly with Liberty National. The Google on this number connects to “United American Insurance,” and wow it’s right by my house! As Pee Wee Herman would say “Am am I lucky or what!” Mr. Prince gets points for patriot titles. Liberty, American, United, National. Oliver North might even approve of this operation. For multiple reasons.

Cheryl Ann Dagata is another troll. She might actually exist though, because the Google shows her as winning a $200 bonus and being among the “top performers” on selling pre-paid legal services. (#17, with 431 “memberships” sold) I feel bad for her victims customers, though they probably sleep better knowing they covered in case of future legal entanglements. But really. How much can you trust an organization that spells success, SUCCE$$?

Melinda Wickham is also a persistent email suitor of mine. She sends me so many emails it might make my wife angry. This “relationship” began after I made the mistake of putting my resume on JobFox, which opened the floodgates to a tsunami of spam, some of it flat out mean spirited. Apparently my resume sucks. Bad. And they were not afraid to tell me so directly. Let’s hear it for tough love! The good folks at JobFox, and Ms. Wickham in particular, can HELP ME! All I had to do was call this toll free number and I would be on the road to employment bliss. Unlike the CareerBuilder trolls, I don’t think Ms. Wickham exists, unless there everyone in the JobFox call center answers to her name. She doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, unless you count this one from an Australian lobbyist in Queensland. Sorry Aussie Melinda, your virtual namesake is a bloodsucking leech on the backs of already vulnerable and confidence shaken unemployed people.

That’s not ME you say. I have marketable skills. I don’t need the megasites, I’m a premium seeker of paid employment. Are they really better though? Premium job sites have the same recruiting techniques and sign-up policies as health clubs. “Come in for a FREE 7-day trial.” Just leave a credit card, sign this document that commits you to a subscription unless you cancel within a short period of time, and we’ll put the full court press on you to become a member. Good luck canceling.

The Ladders differentiates themselves as being ONLY for 100k jobs, and of course, the kind of quality people that qualify for them. Like you and anyone else that comes up with the $15 or so a month to subscribe. The Ladders was my first sign-up mistake. The Free Trial hooked me. Canceling was not too onerous, but the daily emails from Marc Cendella can be. They do have useful information, but clicking on them through the emails are a road to nowhere. (Or sign-up, take your pick.) Use the Google and search the title and author’s name. Voila. You now have the information, without the subscription. Marc writes (or his PR staff does anyway) in a folksy, friendly style. Just me and you bud. So what happens when you email back? This. But hey, someone actually reads, and responds. Just not the guy sending the email.

All is not lost however. You don’t have to dig deep in recesses of your mind for that power for positive thinking session your previous company made you attend for a silver lining. Just read, or practice some of the techniques on this site.

Fun for the unemployed.


One response to “Job site trolls and make believe people

  1. Dude, Venting on your blog can be oh-so therapeutic, but them (fire)walls got eyes! You never know who might trip across your righteous rants and be amused, confused or otherwise defused! Keep the faith my brother!

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