Tag Archives: work

Stop taking advantage of job seekers

I have been on the job hunt for about two months now and it has been a frustrating process. I spend about half my day, trolling job posting websites, Craigslist and LinkedIn looking for a job. I have applied to over 25 companies. I have heard back from some, others I just get that nice automated response “thank you for applying.” I have had several interviews. Some have gone well and some not so well.

My most frustrating aspect is that people take advantage that I am looking for work to use me for some free advice. Here is the scenario. In four different job interviews now, two with companies and two with PR agencies, I have been brought in on the disguise of an interview when all they really wanted to do was run PR pitches by me. They were asking my opinions on how the pitches were crafted and if I would change anything. Of course I offer up my suggestions and how I might tweak it. One company had me meet with five different people from their Marketing office to run all different type of pitches by me. I was there for over 3 ½ hours. I played ball and offered up my advice hoping it might lead to a job offer. The very next day, the company posted a news release with almost an exact duplicate word for word of what I suggested they do. At first I was proud they used my advice but after a couple weeks of not hearing from them, I started to feel used. Three weeks later, I received a call from the HR representative of said company saying they were going “another direction” and thanked me for my time. Boy, did I get used on that one.

I would be fine if that happened just once but I have had it happen at two other interviews. PR agencies who told me they were looking for account executives and then had me rework pitches and press releases that I see a week later being sent out. If you need help, I will come in on a freelance basis and charge $45 an hour. Both of those companies didn’t even have the courtesy to call me and tell me they were hiring me. They just don’t return my calls or emails.

My latest interview was a doosey. It was for a company looking to add someone to the PR team. I was told to be at the interview at 10am. I arrived at 9:45am to no one at the company. At first I thought, did I get the day and time wrong? Am I in the right place? I called my contact that set up the interview (she was a contract HR person who worked from her home.) She told me she confirmed the interview and they location but didn’t know why no one was at the office. She called me back 10 minutes later to say they were on the way and would be there soon. At 10:15am, the PR team arrives with Starbucks in hand. They never apologized for being late. The interview was your custom interview until I got a chance to ask questions. I always ask in an interview, what do you like about working here and what do you wish you could change. I am always surprised in the responses I get but I never expected what I got from this group. It turned into a 20 minute bitch fest on how much the company sucks and how they treat the PR team like crap. Here were three bitter people who hated their jobs and they were trying to sell me on coming to work for their company. No thank you. I ended the interview as fast as I could and got out of there. There is no way I want to work there.

I need a job. I want a job. I want to feel productive again. I am like thousands of people looking for work and it’s just a sad state that some companies will take advantage of people. Even sadder is that these people including myself really need a job and will put up with the BS that these companies are dealing out.

So I continue on with my search. I have signed up with a temp company hoping they can get me some temp work. Hope they come through soon. In the meantime, you can find me trolling Indeed and LinkedIn for jobs.