Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Beware: The Marketing Scammers And How They Suck You In

Kind-of-Hypothetical Situation: You're searching for jobs through an online aggregate, let's say You come across a job posting, it lists: Account Executive and right under says something close to, "The Company is the Northeast's fastest growing marketing firm with many Fortune 500 clients! We are looking for career-oriented individuals that are in search of rapid growth in an entry-level sales and marketing position."

You think,
huh, it says Account Executive, they seem to have a credible position, let me check out the website. So, you go to the website, which basically lists a whole lot of nonsense about the services they provide, their excellent customer reviews, and their management team's information, without ever actually saying what it is they do. But hey, it's a job listing, it's an entry level position. You send them your resume.

A day later, you have a voicemail: "It's A Person from The Company and we were impressed by your resume and want you to come in for a preliminary interview and hopefully get you on track to become a part of the managerial team. And we need you to come in immediately"

You leap into the air, let out a "YAHOOOOOO!" You got an interview! Then you realize, you still don't know what the hell this company does. So you call back, ask to speak with A Person and ask a little bit more about the job description.

"Well, you would be part of a team, dealing with clients face-to-face," says A Person.
"But, I still don't understand, what would my primary responsibilities be?" you ask.
Five minutes into the conversation, you still don't know what this company does!
You ask your last resort question, "Is this a company that sells directly to people, and would I be out selling products all day?"
"I don't believe I understand your question," says A Person.
"Is this a CUTCO type company? Will I be going around selling a product such as knives?" you ask.
"I'm not sure what you are implying, but this is certainly not a job where you sell knives. Should we set up the interview or not?" A Person answers.

So you go ahead and set up the interview, feeling a bit more assured that this is definitely not a selling job. Instead, you picture yourself interacting with a team, sitting in an office tossing around ideas to market a product, all the while on track to one day become a part of the managing team.

Two days later, you get off the subway, all the way downtown in the Financial District. You enter a building, follow the directions and find the office for The Company. You enter the office and see what can only be enough room for three private office rooms with one secretarial desk and you are immediately concerned.
Oh well, you assure yourself, I'm sure this is just the HR office. You arrive fifteen minutes early, hoping to impress the staff with your punctuality and knowledge of the time needed for form-filling. Sure enough, you are handed a five page packet that you must start filling out. Halfway down the first page, another person, someone around the same age as you, walks in. They tell the secretary they are here for an interview, and are handed the same packet to start filling out. Maybe they just want us to sense the competition, you think.

You turn the page, and two more people walk in. They are here for interviews too, you hear. They sit down and start filling out their own packets. Then you wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, a half hour after the interview start time, and two other interviewees, you are called in to one of the three offices. Two minutes in you ask the blatant question, "Will I have a desk and work in an office?" Finally, you get an almost-straightforward response. "Well you will be on your feet about 80% of the time," says A Person.

"You don't seem interested," A Person states, not asks. You agree. And you leave. And then have to find a subway back uptown toward civilization all the while slapping yourself on the forehead and saying out loud you can't believe you fell for it, while the homeless people on the street give you condescending stares and whisper among themselves, "That lady is loco." That's right, you are officially crazier than anyone else on the street because you believed in something that was TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

Yeah, this was me. Don't let it be you. ALWAYS ask if you will have a desk in an office which you will be at for most of the time (if this is the type of job you want). They won't give you a straightforward response, but keep asking. Also try to ask if this will be a job primarily focused on face-to-face selling (like, ahem, CUTCO). They probably will manage to tiptoe around that answer, but still try. It's not worth the hour and half of your time you could be devoting to finding a REAL job.

-Chelsey The Job Hunter

I'm open to criticism, I'm open to praise, but most of all, I'm open to a job offer.

Follow me on Twitter: ChelseyWantsJob

1 comment:

  1. I graduated last May and experienced so many similar situations, it became almost comical. One in particular was an ad I found on As previously mentioned, it advertised an entry level position in marketing/pr/advertising yada yada. Like Chelsey, I showed up in my full interview attire, early, armed with my oh so stellar resume and references. I immediately knew something was wrong when I walked in and saw multiple people filling out papers in a waiting area, some in sneakers and a tank top. After completing my pages of paper work, I was escorted to a room where I was administered a 'typing test'. I literally sat at a computer in a room with about 10 other people and was graded on how fast I could type, and my computer literacy skills. Not to say that these skills are not important, but my anxiety was growing by the second, as was my rage at wasting my time. When someone finally saw me, they asked me if English was my first language and if I had graduated from college. Had this woman even glanced at my resume, these questions would have been answered. However, I do not blame her for not looking at my resume (she had a stack of 100's of them on her desk). I decided to humor both this woman and myself at this point and stayed and answered every question as if I were still really eager to fill the position, whatever that may have been. When she asked if I would be willing to take a salary of 10$ an hour and I replied no, she then said that unfortunately my score on my typing test was not great and that was all they would be offering me at this time. She then suggested I 'study' for the test, come back and improve my score, and we can discuss my salary. I never did find out what the position was, or if I would have gotten it had my 'typing test' scores improved. This is just one of many horror stories that I have encountered! So, yes, BEWARE of any type of scammers!!