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All the Top Companies are Hiring: Don't Pay for a Job
By: Brian Keller
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Job seeking seems to be a theme that’s been explored a number of times. I think that we need to go into it one more time; it’s for the good of humanity.
Beyond Madison Avenue is a site directly connected to Talent Zoo, which is a talent and recruitment website and not a paid search firm. This column is not an endorsement of Talent Zoo nor is it a call for anyone to use Talent Zoo.
I got this email the other day.
Hi Brian, 
“Your profile matches this job recently posted by Blank Recruiter at Blank. Apply now for FREE.:
I said: “Wow, I just got an email from someone I’ve never heard of about a cool job that matches my profile that he/she can’t possibly have because I’ve never sent them my profile. How cool is that?”
I went to the site, and, sure enough, there it was — a job that matched my profile if I was a Mobile Game Designer. I always wanted to be a Mobile Game Designer, but don’t have any skills, so that was good. I registered and got a lead as a head nurse.
I decided to cruise the site. I saw jobs and I decided to apply. Most of the jobs I liked had a membership charge attached. I thought it was cool that they’d guarantee a job if you paid. I figured I’d go buy a new job and say, “See you later, suckers,” to my old one. The jobs began at six figures and went up.
I called the 800 number listed. I got a recruiter. He wasn’t a recruiter.
The Guy: “Brian, I’m not a recruiter. We’re a paid search firm. Shoot me your resume. We can talk now.”
Brian: “How cool is that! We can talk now?” I shot him the resume. I love shooting stuff.
The Guy: “This is quite a resume. I think you’re an outstanding candidate for a number of positions.”
Brian: “A number of positions! This is great. What positions? I’m a Writer and a Creative Director.”
The Guy: “Brian, a number of positions at a number of top companies!”
Brian: “OMG! Okay, when do I start?”
The Guy: “Well, Brian, top companies are hiring in your field. Select a membership. We’ll get you placed.”
Brian: “Hold on; I have a call to make.”
The Guy: “Brian, top companies!”

I called the folks at work and said:
To Partner One: “Your kids are hideous little monsters. My kid is cuter and will be selling your kids cigarettes in prison.”
To Partner Two: “I let you go faster than me on your bike. You look stupid in bike shorts and your stomach hangs out. I could out-bike you even if I was in an iron lung.”
To Partner Three: "Your breast augmentation is ridiculous and your calf Implants are dumb. Do a calf raise, moron.” 
Then I say to The Guy: “When do I start? Do they have Creative Director/Copywriter jobs at the top companies?”
The Guy: “We have top jobs from top companies in your field. Memberships are: $25 for one month, $16.33 a month for 3 months, $14.83 a month for 6 months, or $12.42 a month for 12 months. I would go with the year membership and save some money.”
Brian: “That would be almost $150.00 to $300.00 a year.”
The Guy: “Brian, you can cancel. With your resume we’ll place you in an IT position shortly.”
Brian: “I’m a Writer/Creative Director. Do you have those jobs?”
The Guy: “Brian, today’s jobs call for elastic candidates. The kind of candidates that can use their many skills to open up many opportunities.”
Brian: “I’m a writer.”
The Guy: “Brian, we’re a paid search firm, not recruiters. We give you a list of great-paying jobs and you go get them. We’re hunters and you just gather.”
Brian: “I’m going to pay you and you’re…”
The Guy: “Putting you in front of top companies at six figures up!”
Brian: “For a fee.”
The Guy: “An investment.”
The next day I got this email from The Guy’s company.
“Hi Brian, still interested in applying to this job posting you recently viewed on blank site? Top companies are hiring in your field. Join now for….”
Then I got this from another firm:
“Dear Brian,

Do you feel like you’re doing everything right…but it’s not working?
Be the first one to see the best opportunities.

Recruiters begin their searches here — recruiters and hiring managers contact us to post their best executive-level jobs, because they know we have a deep pool of talented executives.”
Labor Day Sale! Save $75 when you join today!!!”
I got this from the same company:
"Dear Brian,
It’s my birthday and I’d like to give you a gift. 
$10 off a 90-day membership
$30 off a 6-month membership
$75 off a 1-year membership
I hope you enjoy my gift and that we can help you find your next, great opportunity with a top company.
Linda (not her name) 
I sent a resume. I got responses from three of her people. I wrote back and asked them to tell me what I did. I got a list, including another nursing job, and:
“Dear Brian,
We are not a recruiting firm, but we do provide you with tools and resources to assist you in your career search. Brian, I see that you do not have a current resume uploaded and your profile needs to be completed so that recruiters will not by-pass you due to lack of information.
Below is a screen shot of your 'Saved Searches/Alert.' If you need to change this alert please click on 'edit alert' and select your criteria.”
My job list included Dietician, Commodity Director, and of course VP–Corporate/B2B. I think I’ll be a Dietician. With Linda’s birthday gift I may be able to save on dietician school.
Getting a job is serious business and turning a job seeker’s angst into a serious business is becoming a serious business. You're smart you have plenty of tools. Real recruiters don't look at these guys. Don’t pay anyone. Work hard; you can find the jobs these people are posting, and apply, with just a little diligence. You can work with reputable recruiters, and job boards. You can network. Mostly, you can avoid paying these scammers money you may not be able to afford. 

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About the Author
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.

Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.

He has built the creative departments at two agencies.

He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.

Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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