Job Searching and Weasley Recruiters

Being cast down amongst the sweaty masses of the unemployed means engaging in my least favorite activity — job searching. I hate job hunting. But I also hate starvation and homelessness. So, job hunting it is.

It’s just a pain in the ass. But unless you’re the future Dali Lama, people generally don’t just show up to your front door to tell you they have an awesome job for you.

Let the games begin!

So, resume updated, I posted it on various job sites and changed my status on LinkedIn to let recruiters find me.

The one thing that really sucks about posting your resume online and indicating you’re available is dealing with weasely staffing agency recruiters. Now, I’m not talking about legitimate recruiters; most of those are very professional. No, I’m talking about the bottom of the barrel. Some aren’t even recruiters, but scam artists who present me with “an awesome opportunity to work from home as a shipping clerk” i.e. remailing stolen goods I would pay to ship and then be reimbursed.

Others recruiters are quota fillers — these guys are like starving dogs who think you’ve got a packet of hotdogs on you. They hustle so hard they’ll sometimes try to steal you from their coworkers. If a job is particularly hard to fill, I’ll sometimes get the same job listing (that I don’t qualify for) from several recruiters from different staffing agencies. They start showing interest through email or by calling and trying to get me to interview for jobs I’m pretty sure I don’t qualify for. Jobs that have only a tenuous link to my work history, usually because one of my former job titles had a shared word in it. The equivalent would be a recruiter telling an Airline Flight Attendant to apply for an Airline Pilot job. (“Just tell them you’ve spent 10-plus years in airplanes — they’ll love it.”)

“You’ll be perfect for it!”

Seriously, I just had the following happen last week. A recruiter wanted to pitch me to a client for a job as a Webmaster. On my resume, he had spotted that one of my previous titles had the word “Content” in it and one of the Webmaster’s responsibilities was overseeing online content — along with some other technical duties that I’m pretty sure I couldn’t handle (well, not competently). I mentioned that I didn’t think I would be a suitable candidate, but he went into used car salesman mode trying to smooth over any concerns. He presented the opportunity as if the job gods had created me with the sole destiny of filling this position.

“But I’m not a Webmaster,” I replied. “I’m a copywriter. I create content.”

“Well, you’ve worked on the web, right? For many years. So, in a sense, you are a master of it.”

Somehow, I’m pretty sure even if this guy bamboozled the company into interviewing me, it wouldn’t last longer than 15 minutes.

I pointed out the job description even mentioned the Webmaster candidate might have to write occasional scripts, and I don’t write code.

“Just ignore that. It doesn’t mean anything — that’s the ideal candidate. They just include that as part of their wishlist. By the way, could you make a tiny edit to your resume and change your last title from Copywriter to Content Specialist? That will help get your resume to the top of the list so they don’t overlook you.”

I had him repeat the request to fabricate a job title because I really couldn’t believe I’d heard him right. He did and then I told him no.

adult-annoyed-bar-105472

Now that I was being difficult, he mentioned that his manager wanted to have a word with me and he handed the call over. The manager also asked if they could change my title and I said no again. He asked me if I had experience with various ticketing systems (very minimal, I told him). His enthusiasm seemed to dwindle and we concluded the call. Anyway, I doubt I’ll hear from them again, but why would I want to? Nothing like faking your way into a job you can’t do — high pay is only good if you don’t get fired on the first day. Sorry, gentlemen. You’ll have to find someone else to help fill your quota.

A new direction?

The key to being happy with your job is finding the right fit. Unemployment has prompted some soul searching on what exactly I want to do. Stick with marketing? Go back to online education? (Might not be an option without retraining — I’ve been out of it for 7 years at this point). Get a non-writing job and channel my writing energy into my projects? Really, I just need to write a best seller and forgo the 9 to 5 rat race. Or win the lottery. (Pretty much the same odds of happening.)

Lottery tickets
The ultimate job security.

Moving forward

Anyway, a company I had not applied to for a job saw my resume online and reached out to me for a phone interview. It went well, but I lacked experience in one area they were really interested in, so it didn’t pan out, but I’ve got a few other irons in the fire. Something will turn up. (Hopefully! I don’t think I’d do well as a homeless person.)

P.S. One observation about recruiting; I have noticed smaller staffing companies that specialize in filling tech-related positions seem to be outsourcing to India because a lot of the recruiting agents have Indian accents. Some speak very well, others sound like they just took a crash course in English and have heavy accents. Conversation with the latter can be difficult to get through.

 


Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels

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15 thoughts on “Job Searching and Weasley Recruiters

  1. Oh how I hate recruiters.
    A funny thing hapoened to me once in Canada. I got a job that a recruiter seemed a bit too pleased to offer. After a a week-long training, I let my trainer know it wasn’t the right thing for me and we parted nicely.
    Then the rectuiter calls me and starts taking it out on me with ‘how could u do this to me’ shit. She was offensive and aggressive. I hung up and wrote a letter of complaint to her agency. I never heard from her again.

  2. Sean D. Layton

    Yes, some of them are weasels. You’re just part of their quota. The trainer probably appreciated your honesty.

  3. Job searching is such a pain. Here’s hoping the right thing comes your way sooner rather than later. I’m very disturbed by this remailing stolen goods thing that people are recruiting for, wtf? How does that even work? What a new low of people who prey on the unemployed who are already stressed, anxious, and trying to be hopeful. Ugh.

    1. Sean D. Layton

      Thanks, hopefully, something turns up soon. Yeah, I’m not sure on the details of the reshipping scam. There’s another one for a secret shopper where a company hires you to be a secret shopper for Walmart, Target, etc. They send you a check for several thousand dollars to purchase gift cards that you’ll use to make your purchases to test store performance. You deposit the check and go buy the gift cards. The scammers have you photo the activation codes and email them to the ‘corporate office’. Inevitably, the check bounces and you’re responsible for the money you’ve spent on the gift cards. which the scammers have used by then.

      1. I’ve heard of that one! The check cashing thing always confuses me, because my bank is really strict about telling you that you can’t immediately withdraw funds from deposited checks, usually with a multiple day wait period. But I guess that’s not the case everywhere, or sometimes it’s enough to still pull it off? So weird. Scams always sound to me like they cost so much in energy and planning effort, why not just channel all that into something legitimate?
        Googling any company or offer is always a must-do now though, I’ve learned that as a freelancer sifting through lots of different projects and clients. It saves you headache down the line. Anyway my fingers are crossed for you!

      2. Sean D. Layton

        Thanks! I wish I was better at marketing myself as a freelancer, though I do have a potential project lined up.

      3. It’s so hard. I’ve been a freelancer forever and I still struggle with aspects of it. It’s a constant learning process but if you can connect with some clients it can smooth the transition between full-time employment.

  4. Sound to me like you really are the future Dalai Lama, as far as some job recruiters are concerned. I didn’t realize that employers are so desperate these days, they initiate the contact with prospective employees, rather than the other way around. This job search of yours seems to me like you’re in a gigantic shoe store, dealing with a pushy shoe salesman, and all you’re trying to do is make sure he sells you something that fits. Or maybe I’m oversimplifying things.

    1. Sean D. Layton

      Well, nothing has come of the ones that have contacted me, so we’ll see. Most have been for jobs that have nothing to do with my skill set.

  5. I got lucky and fell into this job 21 years ago Monday in fact. I would DETEST being out in the job market today, altho I have a guy wanting to hire me today if I quit this job. My only thing is I would have to be full time meaning he would have to get rid of one of his partimers. That wouldn’t be fair…would it?

    1. Sean D. Layton

      I always assumed I’d work somewhere longterm but that seems to be the exception. As far as him letting a parttmer go, yeah that would suck but life isn’t fair and if he doesn’t hire you he might hire someone else and still displace them.

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