Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking out for Job Search Scams

I sent out some responces to Craigslist postings. Most have resulted in scam e-mails telling me to go to a website that they linked to so you can get your credit scores or take an IQ test. Aside from the e-mail links showing a diffrent site when you hover the mouse over them, the e-mail addresses they were sent from will not accept responces.

First, if they send you a link hover your mouse over it. Is it sending you to a different site? Is it one of the shorted links? Then it is more then likley a scam.

Most companies will only require a credit check when they are looking to hire you, if at all. They will never do one before they do an interview. They might have you fill out a PDF of an application to bring in with you at most.

Most notably is the biggest scam I have seen. I tried them, then my spam folder started filling up. Since then I always avoid them. Because there are jumping through hoops and then there is handing over every bit of information about you. If you do sign up with them you will find an insane increse in spam mail. they also work under diffrent guises. being another of their sites.

The only thing you can really do Is look for postings that give you a good deal of information to work with. If you get an e-mail asking you to follow a link, take a test and then give them your score they are probably not real. Send them a polite e-mail explaining that you don't feel comfortable with their request. If you get anything other then a return notice then you are very lucky.

If you suspect a job posting might be a scam then don't waste your time applying for it. If they are promising a great deal of money for an entry level position then don't waste your time with it. They can be found on any job site that allows public posting and never seem to give up.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advice on Applying for a Job in Another City

This is not a set in stone type of plan. As a list it covers a lot of basics that can sometimes be over looked in your job search or when you are actually moving. They are things you always want to keep in mind.

Some things to keep in mind:

1) Where you live now.
You need to specify in your cover letter that you are living in your current city/state and that you are planing to move to your new city/state. This way they should be able to take it into consideration and possibly eliminate you right away. If you are looking for an entry level position chances are they will pass you by for a local candidate.

2) When you can interview.
Specify when you will be in the city to possibly meet with them.If they know you have plans to be near them then they won't feel like you are asking to be flown out there on their dime.

3) When you will be moving.
They will ask you when you plan on moving to the new city. Tell them your plan of action. If you are going to be moving to your new city with or with out a new job then you should tell them when that will be. Tell them that you will be available in that city starting after your settled. Do not set an appointment for the same day as your move.

If you can't move there unless you have a job let them know. Let them know that to start your new time is negotiable. If you have to be there sooner then you expected you can always put your items into a storage place and have them moved later.

4) Before moving to your new city.
When you are looking for a new job call your local moving company and find out how quickly they can pick up your items and if they will be entering their busy season in the coming months. Find out if they can pick up your items within two weeks of seeing them. Find out if they can store your items and then deliver them at a later date.

5) Have someplace to stay for your first few weeks.
Make sure you have someplace to stay. If at a friends, family member, hotel or have an apartment have every thing set up beforehand. Find out if you can have items mailed there before you arrive. It you can/are going to be staying long term find out if you can change your mailing address to their address. If not, find a post office and set up a PO Box. Hotels will generally accept packages for you but you will need to set up a PO Box for bills and other mailings.

6a) When moving to your new city by plane/train/bus.
Put the items you will need right away in your suitcase and mail the anything else that you might need to the place you are staying. Don't mail yourself things you can easily buy there. Purchasing a cheep set of dishes, utensils and other items like detergent, dish soap, ect. This will keep you going until your other items get there.

6b) When moving to your new city by car.
Pack your car with immediately needed items first then see how much room you have left in your car. If you filled your car think about what you are taking and what you really need to have. If you have space think about what you might like to have and then try adding them. If you feel you would like to have more clothing 'just in case' you can stuff some in around your other items. If you are taking contaners think about filling them with other items to save space.

7) Your move in date.
Make sure your new job knows your moving date if you need to be there. If you can not take the day off make sure you have someone there to supervise for you. A good moving company will not move you in with out someone being there. This is for your own good so work with it. If necessary check to see if your apartment super or real estate agent can be there in your place and don't get upset if things are not in the right place. Complaining because you either could not be there or chose not to be there for delivery will probably not get you sympathy. Just accept it and move things around.

8) If bringing pets you will want to take food, litter, some toys, beds and other necessary things with you. You might not be able to find a pet supply store right away. This will make their trip less stressful. Also talk to your current vet or look online for vets in your new city prior to moving.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cranky Hiring Agents in New York City pt2

Last night I spoke with a third New York City hiring agent. She called while I was stuck in traffic but I figured what the hey?

She was very eager to actually talk with me. But I could hear her sails deflating when I explained the whole 'not living in the city right now' thing to her. She did try and wiggle out of the conversation as soon as she heard that but when pressed answered my questions.

When I ask about the possablity of jobs with out an inperson meeting she shot it right down.

She also had no intention of possably saying something that could be held over her. A clear sign to me that someone had done that to her before. She did say that an interview for a job the same week i meet with her could happen but it depended on how many opening came her way. I told her I wasn't looking for a guarantee but just to see how I might schedule my time needed to be there. She was a little startled but went with it.

 This was all I was looking for.

So, now I know that hiring agents in New York City, and possibly in general, do not read cover letters. They are just looking for people they can use to get a better turn over for their commission. Which is fine, but I am amazed that they would waste so much time talking with people they could have quickly eliminated as candidates. I also found that they have no idea were my city is and possibly never hear/read the news.

But! It gave me a very good out look of the time line needed to set interviews for a trip. It also confirmed the fact that I am a dime a dozen. A degree would give me the edge I need for the job market so I can make some headway.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cranky Hiring Agents in New York City

I know they can be a wonderful way of finding employment, but if you are not living in the city they will not be able to do much for you. And if they did contact you then they probably did not read your cover letter that says you don't like in the area. Also you need a think skin when dealing with them.

But let me start again.

I sent out some responces to Craigslist postings. Most have resulted in scam e-mails telling me to go to a website that they linked to so you can get your credit scores or take an IQ test. Aside from the e-mail links showing a diffrent site when you hover the mouse over them, the e-mail addresses they were sent from will not accept responces. I have accepted this challenge and pass them by.

However, silly me thought that the real companies would actually take a moment to look at my cover letter. In which I state that I do not live near the city and can't meet for an interview without some planing. I figured that they would read this in consideration or that they would delete the e-mail. I had no idea they would actually call me and expect me to see them the same day for an interview for their hiring agency with out reading the cover letter.

I have had contact with two agents so far. The gentleman hemmed and hawed a little and complained that i wasn't living in the city. The conversation lasted maybe five minuets and had many little red flags waving at me. I sent him a polite e-mail saying I understand this, would understand that nothing would come my way and that at some point later in time when I will be out there I will pop him a message to see if he'd like to talk again. I knew it wasn't going to work out and gave him the best out possable.

For some odd reasion he responded. This is his entire e-mail:
And though it is not easy you are not unique to us
I will do my best
I have more of an obstacle with the time of year versus your location

I have mixed feeling about this. I am boggled by the lack of grammar skills and that he bothered to send a separate e-mail response, possibly by blackberry. I am pissed because it seems like an slap in the face but most of all I just can't grasp that he would waist the time to send this pointless e-mail to state what we spoke about.

The woman... I have changed my oppinion of her.

She used one - two word sentences in e-mails from her black berry. Red Flag one.
When she requested I call her, then tell me on the line 'e-mail' then quickly rattled off that she was on the line with three other calls and to e-mail her when to meet. Red Flag two.

I took this all as a sign that I should look elsewhere.

I sent the same e-mail to her as the other gentlemen (actually, i e-mailed her first and then used it for him.) thinking that was it and that she would probably be relived. Imagine my shock when I find an e-mail from her asking me to let her know when I'm in the city next.

Now, I'm probably looking into this with rose colored glasses, yet it's still a nicer response then the other guy. I will be dropping her a line when I get a chance to be in the city.

Interpretation has a lot to do with it. Both side of a conversation could be hearing different things. The guy could be telling me not to waste my time contacting him again or he could be trying to  explain why it could take a long time to get back to me. Like wise the woman could be trying to keep connected or she could just be sending it to be polite. In the digital age I just can't be sure.

So... I'm going to hope for the best.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Battle of Cover Letters

Which I will be sending out tonight. I should have sent some out last night but I didn't want to stay up late. I was also chased out of the kitchen by the latest Indiana Jones movie. And the last thing I want to do is try and drive to my current job in the snow on a small amount of sleep.

But this time there seem to be more openings nearer to me. Which is good because if I can get a closer job I will save on gas. Which will let me save up and pay other small bills.

I am probably jinxing myself now but I found the perfect job in New York City for myself. This is the one I should have applied to last night. I am not going to bed tonight until I do. It will require a completely different kind of cover letter then I am used to writing because I think I have figured out what I did wrong.

What I didn't put in my letter was why I was trying to move.

It seems like a small non-essential detail but it actually says quite a bit. It lets the company know that I do have an immediate place to stay and that there is a plan to get there. It also implies that this isn't a frivolous job search but a serious hunt. As well as availiblity to travle out there for interviews.

On the down side if not written right it will sound like I'm desperate and trying a sob story.

The second idea I had was to apply with a hiring agency that was in the city. The bad said is most of the jobs they can offer would be temp to hire. I'm more then terrified of that kind of position.

So tonight I wrack my brain and try not to worry too much that I sound stupid.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Continuing The Search

So, last week I had what I thought was a good interview.

However he did all the talking. and I do mean all. I did learn everything about the job. but I wasn't able to sell myself. I managed to mention a few things and that I would love to be able to work there. It was the perfect setup for me. I would have thrived there.

He said he would be contacting 2-3 people this week and possibly doing a second interview. I thought that since he told me this that I was in the running. Apparently I'm not one of them. I wish he had not said that so I wouldn't keep hoping and waiting for a call back.

The included apartment would have been awesome.