I’ve really become suspicious


In my on-going search for a permanent job, I’ve had some very negative experiences.

In some cases, those experiences were due to my own failings, in other cases I, like a lot of the aging boomers got victimized.

As a result, I’m always suspicious of headhunters.

My experience with placement personnel has been universally negative over the past decade. Even within the headhunters, there are gradations of suspicion.

For example:

My suspicion is heightened when the headhunter is from well out of the local area.

Why would a company in California hire a headhunting agency in New Jersey?

Hunting party

Based on past experiences and lots of wasted time, I’m a tad more suspicious when a New Jersey based headhunter has an obviously Indian name and they’re telling me about a temporary opportunity 1200 miles away from my current location.

How well does this person know the job market or geography?

The odds are they don’t. Often these folks are actually in India and the address they’ve given in New Jersey is essentially an empty office suite.

This is not to say that American Headhunters don’t do the same thing.

Recently, I drove to Huntington Beach to personally hand my resume to someone. The office was actually an executive suite with a receptionist who told me flat out, she’d never seen anyone from the company I’d come to see.

I’m likely to flush an email instantly if it’s obvious that the headhunter didn’t read my resume, or if their email is rife with typos, or worse yet, obvious and incorrectly copied HTML

I realize that I may be tossing out viable leads, but from the old school perspective; “If you can’t be bothered to at least look at your work before you send it out to the world, you can’t be very diligent in negotiation for salary on my behalf.”

Lets be honest here. Technically, a headhunter is your agent. If they look like shit in their correspondence or can’t communicate, YOU’RE going to look like shit too

If a headhunter references their “database” but I’ve never done business with them, heard of their company, or the email address they’re using is very old, I’m very suspicious.

Beginning any relationship with a lie is a bad idea. Beginning a business relationship with lies is especially bad. Why don’t they tell you something like “I saw your resume on Dice, or Monster, or LinkedIn.” At least then I’d know what information they’d been privy to and might not be quite as circumspect. I’ve had way too many experiences where I spend the time, answer their questions, and then… The sound of one hand clapping.

In my case, I go right to the memory of working very hard with a headhunter daily, I was writing letters and tweaking my resume for weeks on end, for various jobs, only to discover that I was doing the headhunter’s job and he was using my letters and chunks of my resume to sell other candidates.


The parasite would have continued to bleed me for who knows how long except that I was at an interview and the interviewer asked if I used aliases.

When I said, “No” he presented me with a poorly edited version of my resume with someone else’s name on it, and one of the cover letters I’d written.

Needless to say nobody got the job. The headhunter in question and his company, were barred from submitting candidates. I noticed recently that headhunters office was for lease.

The point to all of this is that I’m getting interest in my online profile, but I’m very curious as to why all that interest is from companies outside of California.

Not that leaving California is necessarily a problem, but these are for positions within California. Why aren’t local headhunters working these positions?

The real problem is,how do you know if these headhunters and the positions they offer are real, or if these positions are bogus, designed to get you to turn over information “necessary to get the job” that is really being given to identity thieves.

At the risk of sounding like a luddite… 

I don’t like this new internet job thingy. I don’t like it one little bit!

Here’s an update.

After 5 headhunters contacting me, one of them twice. Then me following up with them politely and providing the information that they requested yet again…

…The sound of one hand clapping. 

I checked these companies out to the best of my ability. I did due diligence but lets face it anyone can make a web page and have a phone number forwarded to a cell phone.

Another colossal waste of time. Time I might add that I don’t have to waste.