Monday, March 22, 2010

Throwing caution to the wind...

** Please note that this is a copy of the post on my "career" blog, but I thought it was just as relevant for my "personal" readers to post it here **

I already know what many of you will say before I even make this post, but I still felt the need to get a little bit off my chest. You may (or may not) know that I am currently seeking a position in either the public relations or marketing field. In that quest I have been presented with several "opportunities" that, while I don't want to call them outright scams, have been questionable. At best. A recent email I received went something like this:

Burl,
We have seen that you are someone who would bring strong abilities to our company. The interview process is entirely for your benefit to find out more about our company so that you can make an informed decision as to your interest level. None of this can be done in an e-mail properly. This would be a great time to detail exactly what we do so you can make a much better decision. We would love to have you join us for an hour and a half on Wednesday, March 17th so you can see and hear all the details. It would definitely be an hour and a half well spent to possibly change your future. I have an opening, should I schedule you?
Respectfully,
"Ms. X"
Area Vice President
"XYZ Company"

Normally, I would just hit the delete button on my keyboard and move on, but something about this email made me pause. With my resume posted on several different locations and having become more active on various industry-related boards and communities, could this possibly be a legitimate inquiry? I wrote back:

Good evening "Ms. X",
Before I could commit an afternoon for an interview, I would need to know a little bit more about the position you are seeking to fill. Is it a public relations or marketing position? A sales position? Commission based or salary or a combination? I am sure that you understand my hesitation to immediately walk into a situation with such limited information and I look forward to your reply.
Thank you in advance,
Burl Gregory

The way I looked at it, if the interest was for a real position, "Ms. X" would be happy to provide these basic items of information and even appreciate my interest. The reply I received:

Burl,
You have to ask yourself if you are worth spending some time to pursue whether this opportunity can help you change your life? You will never know unless you come out and listen. Out of respect to my company, I am not going to try to describe ten years of success in a few short sentences in an e-mail. We have seen that you are someone who would bring strong abilities to our company. The interview process is entirely for your benefit to find out more about our company so that you can make an informed decision as to your interest level. None of this can be done in an e-mail properly. This would be a great time to detail exactly what we do so you can make a much better decision. We would love to have you join us for an hour and a half on Wednesday, March 17th so you can see and hear all the details. It would definitely be an hour and a half well spent to possibly change your future. I have an opening, should I schedule you?
Respectfully,
Ms. X
Area Vice President
XYZ Company

Ok. The Area Vice President of a company can not (or will not) disclose they type of position that she is contacting me to interview for? Is the company a front for the CIA or organized crime ("I can not disclose the nature of our business because others may be listening...")? For a company that has "ten years of success" why can I not find a listing for it on Google? And I realize that an interview is also an opportunity for the prospective candidate to learn more about a company, but isn't it primarily for the company to learn more about the candidate?

Needless to say (but I will say it anyway), I will not be attending this "interview" with XYZ Company. I actually didn't even bother to reply to the second email.

Tip for (legitimate) employers looking to hire: You find a decent candidate's resume online. Send them an email or give them a call, but give at least a basic idea of the field you are looking to employ. You will set yourself apart from the many "get rich quick" scams offers and you may be surprised by the quality of your results.

3 comments:

Kim said...

This sounds very shady and you're right, probably a scam.

Bond said...

no really...we sell ATMs to local stores...really we do...

when I was out of work, I received a ton of those, we can't tell you what we do...but you will love us

OK, they do not really sell ATMs to stores, but you seem healthy enough and they only needed one kidney

The Burl said...

Kim: Absolutely a scam of some sort...or selling Amway.

Bond: HAHA! I was thinking they might be trying to harvest my spleen, but you're right...you only need one kidney.