Bad economy brings out bad behavior in terms of people trying to get at your money, and in this terrible job market, scams abound. Here are a couple to watch out for.
1. Beware of job listings that ask you to pay in order to see job descriptions and/or to apply. Recently I saw a job listing on a job-listing portal (i.e., a site that aggregates links to job listings hosted on other sites) that seemed to offer the ideal combination of skillset requirements and job fit for me. When I clicked the link which took me to the actual listing site, I was told I needed to subscribe at a fee of no less than $80 a month (!) in order to apply to the job. Minutes later, on the same portal I saw two more instances of the exact job listing, but now with different alleged employers: the first listing said "small hedge fund," the second "regional investment bank," and the third "large international bank." Obviously, the exact same job cannot have existed at all these places!
2. The classic get-your-information-and-run scam: these guys just want to get your information, hopefully your full legal name and social security number, so they can do things like pretending to be you. About a month ago I got a call from a guy who said he’d seen my resume on a career website. He claimed to be a headhunter and wanted to tell me about a job at Goldman Sachs. But first, he needed to check my background ("because the Goldman guys are careful these days not to hire crooks") so he wanted my full name and social security number. Hmm, wasn’t that too obvious? I simply asked him to leave me his phone number and I’d call him back. He hung up.
Both stories are true, so I hope you’ll be on the lookout for people who try to hurt you, financially if not physically, even if you’re desperate to find a job.