In today’s marketplace, there are great opportunities that are real and some that are too good to be true. Do your research. If something seems to be sketchy, follow your instincts until satisfied that you’re dealing with a legitimate organization. Here are a few points of caution:
The title is much bigger than the job – Don’t be “sold” on a title that doesn’t define the level of responsibility. The title “Manager” can mean managing people or managing a function as an individual contributor. Some titles have a certain flair, but no substance. Examples: Creative Architect, Marketing Specialist, Technical Consultant, Communications Ambassador, Assistant Vice President, Deputy Supervisor, Digital Solutions Manager. Check out the responsibility and limits of your decision making.
The job sounds impressive, but it’s hollow – Recruiters have been known to fluff up a job to get a better quality of a candidate because the job, company or industry doesn’t have a good reputation. It’s easy to have the job sound exciting when using words like “golden opportunity”, or words like one-of-a-kind, exceptional, and so on. The sizzle isn’t a steak, it’s a fatty hamburger. Two signs to look out for: The fast-talking salesman who doesn’t ask many questions, and the recruiter who wants you to move too fast because “…this opportunity may not be available tomorrow”.
Your asked for private/personal information – There’s no need to give banking, credit card or financial information, driver license or social security numbers. Some information may be necessary like current compensation, required pay level to move to a new job, career goal, and so on. Never, ever should you be asked for a payment for sending your resume to a hiring company. Nor should you pay for training, software or equipment to qualify for employment.
Information is ambiguous, changeable or abstract – You want clarity and definitive answers to questions like, “What are the expectations for results within the first 6 to 9 months?”, “What decisions are within the parameters of this job?”, or “How is performance to be measured and compensated?”. If the position description doesn’t match up with your resume, or it changes over different conversations, beware. Be sure to ask questions for which you need answers. A quality recruiter or hiring manager will want to make sure you are fully informed, competent and accepting of the position description.
Check out these items:
- Is the email address real or bogus? Check it against the real company.
- Is the position listed on the company’s website under “open positions”? If not, why not?
- Is this career step too large or too small? It may affect your performance.
- Do you have a compatible fit with the hiring manager and the company culture?
- Is the risk too great?
The key to sorting out the real opportunities for career success and a dead end job is to ask penetrating and insightful questions. The answers will tell you whether you’re dealing with a true prospect or a deception.
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