Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Beware of Employment Scams!

Internet scams are everywhere. A while ago, I received a classic e-mail scam ... it was an e-mail purporting to be from an esteemed colleague of mine. It said he was stuck in London and needed me to wire him some money. Fortunately, I'd heard of this scam before and didn't fall for it.

But how many jobseekers are being targeted by employment scams or work-at-home schemes? The answer is: Too many.

With the e-mail I received, it's a good time to remind you of these.

  • "Pay to Play" work-at-home schemes. The premise sounds great: Work from home and earn hundreds or thousands of dollars per week. The scam might be sending off for a special "kit" that outlines how to make money (but is often a "system" where the buyer recruits other unsuspecting buyers to purchase the "system). Or you might pay for supplies for a product that is assembled at home and sold back to the company, but only if it meets "specifications" -- which the assembled products rarely do. Other "pay to play" schemes require you to pay a subscription fee to access a website where work-at-home job opportunities may be posted. While some of these sites are legitimate, many are not.
  • The Mystery Shopper. An investigative news program recently spotlighted job postings on Craiglist for mystery shopping positions. The "company" sends the job seekers a check to cover "expenses" and asks him or her to "mystery shop" -- sending money via wire transfer. The individual deposits the supposedly legitimate check into his or her bank account and wires a portion of the amount back to the company, "keeping" the balance as their "salary." A few days later, the "mystery shopper" is notified by their bank that the check they deposited was fraudulent or has bounced. They are then liable for covering the full amount they wired (that money is long gone), plus bank fees.
New twist on the Mystery Shopper is the "Reshipper." These job seekers respond to ads for "quality control" positions. You receive merchandise, inspect it, and mail it on to the final recipient. Only many of the goods are stolen (or purchased using stolen credit cards) and you're helping facilitate the crime.
  • Help Accessing the "Hidden Job Market." While there are legitimate job agents (and recruiters and resume writers) that can help job seekers find unadvertised positions, there is also an entire class of scam artists that prey on the insecurities of the unemployed, especially managers and executives. Some firms represent themselves as employment agencies or recruiters but require job seekers to pay $5,000 to $12,000 (on average) for assistance in accessing the "hidden job market." These firms give legitimate career services professionals a bad name. The big giveaway is that they make candidates "qualify" to become a client, require them to provide detailed financial information as part of the applications process, and the spouse is often "invited" to become part of the process. These companies often attract candidates by placing ads disguised as job postings. See the "Ask the Headhunter" article for more details on this.
  • Commission-Only Jobs. I often advise clients to set up a separate e-mail account for job searching, particularly if they have sales-related keywords in their resumes. These folks are likely to be targeted for fake "job openings" for commission-only sales positions. Remind your clients to research companies before going on interviews -- a simple Google search can sometimes alert them to these kinds of "jobs."
Do you know of any other employment scams? Comment on my blog below.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Are You Getting Interviews, But Not Job Offers?

If you're getting job interviews, but not offers, watch this video:

Have your references checked.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Allison & Taylor and I may be compensated if you decide to have your references checked. However, I never recommend a product or service that I don't personally believe in.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Accessing the Power of Gratitude

When you're in the midst of a stressful job search or career change, it can be difficult to be grateful for the experience -- or to recognize the good things in your life.

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude 
• Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

• Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

• Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

• Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

• When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

• Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top 10 Ways to Lead By Example

Good leaders must lead by example. Through their actions, which are aligned with what they say, they become a person others want to follow. When leaders say one thing but do another, they erode trust, a critical element of productive leadership. Here are 10 of the dozens of ways to lead by example.

1. Take responsibility. Blame costs you your credibility, keeps team members on the defensive and ultimately sabotages real growth.

2. Be truthful. Inaccurate representation affects everyone. Show that honesty really IS the best policy.

3. Be courageous. Walk through fire (a crisis) first. Take calculated risks that demonstrate commitment to a larger purpose.

4. Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for your team to do the same and defines failure as part of the process of becoming extraordinary.

5. Be persistent. Try, try again. Go over, under or around any hurdles to show that obstacles don’t define your company or team.

6. Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team for more.

7. Listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand. You’ll receive valuable insights and set a tone that encourages healthy dialogue.

8. Delegate liberally. Encourage an atmosphere in which people can focus on their core strengths.

9. Take care of yourself. Exercise, don’t overwork, take a break. A balanced team, mentally and physically, is a successful team. Model it, encourage it, support it!

10. Roll up your sleeves. Like Alexander the Great leading his men into battle, you’ll inspire greatness in your company.

Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Top 10 Ways to Cope With Job Transition

Job transitions can be stressful—whether they’re due to layoff, a new job or working extra hours because others workers were laid off. If you’re facing one, consider the following.

1. Take an honest look at yourself. What are your strengths, weaknesses, skills? How did those influence—positively or negatively—your transition?

2. Step up your self-care. Major changes are physically and emotionally taxing. You need self-care now more than ever.

3. Engage your curiosity. What went wrong, or right? What could you have done better? What worked really well?

4. Focus on what you want, and less on what you don’t want. Keep your eye on the prize.

5. Find support. Since your transition affects your family as well, it may be better to seek the outside support of friends or professionals.

6. Work on your thoughts. Calm your fears and reinforce your sense of hope and happiness.

7. Reassure (or avoid) those who are threatened by, or jealous of, the change.

8. Create your own rite of passage. Ceremony and ritual help with all transitions.

9. Let go of how things were “supposed to be” and accept “how things are.” Find appreciation for what is.

10. Keep things in perspective. Or try on a new perspective. Don’t get stuck. Remember, the only constant is change. 

Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Self-Expression vs. Your Hireability

I often caution my job-seeking clients to be hyper-aware of how they present themselves to prospective employers. This includes online identity management (be careful what and where you post), making a good first impression (dress appropriately for the interview), and having a great resume.

Unfortunately, as this food stylist found out, you can express yourself with tattoos... but it may cause you problems.

This tattoo, "Mofo" -- is short for Motherf---er ...

I was talking to a hiring manager a few weeks ago, and it reminded me of the delicate balance between self-expression and a job seeker's hireability. Particularly among Generation Y, self-expression is often done through tattoos and piercings (including tongues, noses, and lips). And while job seekers have the "right" to have tattoos and piercings, employers may not hire them.

This article explains some of the issues related to tattoos, in particular, but more from an employer's point of view. What job-seekers need to know, though, is that even if an employer can't overtly object to tattoos and piercings, the first impression made can be enough to keep you from getting the job.

So when you're interviewing for a job, consider covering up those tattoos and removing the piercings. Your hireability may depend on it. Once you get past the first impression -- and have the chance to win the prospective employer over with your skills, abilities, attitude, and personality, then you can show off your expression.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

UNO Job Fair Set for Oct. 12

UNO will host a job fair on Oct. 12. More details here.

Fall 2010 Job Fair 
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom
The Fall 2010 Job Fair will take place on October 12. Students and alumni who are genuinely interested in pursuing employment opportunities in the immediate future are encouraged to attend. Professional attire is expected, and students and alumni should bring copies of their current resume.