Masquerading As A Job Application


Having your résumé stored electronically on job search sites like Monster, Workopolis, and Torontojobshop is a real time saver when applying online for advertised job positions. All you need to do is enter the user ID and password you use on any of those sites during the Submit Application part and your résumé is sent. Indeed has a lot of job openings spidered from those three I’ve mentioned, so it looks like from my end I’m dealing with one big job search engine and not three smaller ones.

Before I actually enter the real user ID and password, though, I try a fake one first. Why? Well, I did mention in another blog post there are indeed job scams on the Internet, even through reputable commercial and government services that host these ads. To date, I caught one scammer where my fake user ID and password actually went through like a real one. For that unlucky scammer, I sent the screenshots and URL to the service hosting the ad.

Monster, Workopolis, and Torontojobshop are not the only source for online job postings. For example, some positions are advertised on a corporation web site using a separate web page, usually spartan in design. It describes what the job position is about with either an upload option for your résumé or just an Email address you can click to compose an Email containing the résumé. It’s barebones but it works.

Some companies have gone the way of creating their own little Workopolis’ or Monsters by running a separate employment database. They work the same way as the other services. You create a profile and upload your résumé and cover letter for the hiring managers within that company to review. Job seekers can use their online profile to apply for open positions within the company.

I call them “island job banks” and I hate applying for jobs through them for a few reasons. First of all, some of the software used on these services is coded in-house and not as user friendly (or reliable) as the bigger job search sites. I remember on more than one occasion using the résumé upload feature to import my work and education history into my profile, only to wonder in frustration after seeing the mangled mess why I just didn’t manually enter the data in the first place.

There’s also the question of convenience. When I look for work online, I want to spend as less time as possible finding open job positions so I can spend more time applying for them. Creating yet another online profile and uploading my résumé is a time waster, especially since I’m not going to return again to check for any open positions. I have a tab formatted text file containing a list of nearly 50 of these island job banks where I created a profile just to apply for a job. My job search day is between six and eight hours long. Do you seriously think I have time to return to each of these sites on a regular basis?

My final comment — more of a concern — is what the data, stored on a corporation’s private network, is going to be used for. Consider the following terms of conditions statement from one of the companies where I just created a profile on their job bank:

I hereby authorize [omitted] to communicate with appropriate third persons in order to ensure the accuracy of any and all information I have provided during the application process. I hereby release from liability any person giving or receiving such information.

That basically says a third party that associates with the company offering the open position that I’m applying for can use my information as they see fit, whether it applies to my job application or not. There’s a lot of marketing and sales data in my résumé and online profile that can be useful to mass marketing companies: my education, my past work experience, where I live and my telephone number, my hobbies and interests, and so on.

It makes me wonder if I’ve applied for a job, or unknowingly filled out a sales and marketing survey….

Thanks for reading!

David

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