Scam: Pronunciation: \ˈskam\Function: noun : a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation

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A friend, (who is highly qualified,) finally reached her breaking point in her job search when she called excitedly that she had scored an interview a mere hour after she sent her resume.

Caroline*, (not her real name,) is a gorgeous and intelligent woman in her mid twenties has been in a career transition for months. The prospect of an interview so soon after she emailed the company, (MK Acquisitions,) made her head spin with excitement, relief, but also- hesitation. She saw the following ad:

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RESTUARANT / RETAIL / RESTAURANT / BARTENDING-ENTRY LEVLE WANTED
MK ACQUISITIONS – Minneapolis, MN
See original job posting at Monster »

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The entire listing can be summed up in the following line:  “Receive World Class Training While Representing A Top Notch Portfolio Of Fortune 500 Clients!” \  How a portfolio of ‘Fortune 500 Clients’ relates to bartending, I’m not quite sure. But heck… I want to find out. So I called Amber Steele: from the email that Caroline provided.

It was busy the first seven times. (I was determined.)  A perky pubescent voice lit up my phone with the joyful sounds of someone hyped up on caffeine, or ego: “Hi you’ve reached Amber in Human Resources.  Im unable to take the call but if you leave your number I’ll get right back to you.” I prepared my best, “I’m totally a jobseeker and I totally want to talk to you voice,” but alas: the mailbox was full.

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The following were the communication emails that Caroline received:

Hi!
Thank you for applying for a job with MK ACQUISITIONS. Management and
I are interested in meeting with you for an interview. We reviewed
your resume and feel that you are qualified for one of our open
positions in the Plymouth location. We compared your resume to others
received and feel that you have the right skill set that we are
looking for in an employee.

This is our busy season and unfortunately interview times are
limited. Please call me in our Pennsylvania to secure a time for an
interview.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Amber Steele
570-793-4336
National Human Resources

And:
MK Acquisitions
3131 Fernbrook Lane North Suite 121
Plymouth, MN 55447
Phone: 763-432-2377

This letter will serve as a confirmation for your scheduled interview

with us on 12/28/2009 at 12:30 PM

Four interview, you will be speaking with Mark and I would like to
remind you to bring a copy of your resume and dress professionally.

Listed below are directions to our location. If you need further
directions from your
location, please feel free to call the office directly at
763-432-2377.

Then this email came a few minutes later:

Thank you for interest in MK Acquisitions employment opportunities!
You previously submitted your resume to our marketing and advertising
firm and I had responded to you with a letter requesting an interview
as well as a follow up phone call, however we were unable to get in
touch with you. I believe that you are a strong candidate for our
marketing team and would like the chance to discuss your employment
opportunity further. The demand for our advertising services has
rapidly increased.  Due to this growing demand, we have plans to open
up four to six more offices in the next year, and are now in the final
stages of completing our first round interviews. If you are interested
in setting up an interview with us, and possibly beginning your
career, please contact me between the hours of 9am and 6pm.

Looking forward to speaking with you soon!

Sincerely,
Jill Winebrenner
Human Resources Manager
404-271-7867

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Caroline googled and what came up was an epiphany of angry people who went on the first interview, and never went back.

Also: There was this.

But… take it from me: The website is up, (and clever,) but there is no online portfolio or testimonials;  (only blank pages.) I also found it interesting that the only email they list is an email for CAREERS. What company wouldn’t have a normal email address for doing business?

Proceed with caution, or perhaps forgo the little ‘marketing/bartending/servers’ posting entirely.

As a jobseeker it’s hard to know whether a posting is a scam, or not.

1. Do your research. Be it Hoovers, Google or Indeed.com profiles- make sure you know WHERE you are applying and WHAT they do. If you don’t know about the company, how can you expect them to give you the same consideration? Research takes time upfront, but can save the hassle in the long-run.

2.Verify, Verify, Verify. They want you to come in for an interview? Verify their location and that it is actually an office. Don’t be afraid to do a drive-by- and make sure the building isn’t rundown- or just a culmination of other leased one-room offices. You owe it to your career to find out WHERE you’re going so you know HOW to get there.

3. Follow your instincts. Too Good to Be True, and they have nothing to back it up? You’re probably right. Listen to your heart, job seeker.