I was given a call by an employment agency that had received my resume via the Internet and asked if I would like to come in for an interview. “What kind of positions do you specialize in?” I asked. “We specialize in sales management jobs,” the person responded.
I made an appointment to come in and test the waters after being out of the game for five years.
I had been in industrial chemical sales for thirty years before I became tired of the travel and retired to do some writing. After publishing four books, which I enjoyed immensely, I had begun to get the itch to get back out and mix it up a little. Watching the show “Mad Men” had stirred the juices, so I was interested to see what this outfit had to offer. I was in for a big surprise.
When I entered the high rise building and entered the appropriate suite, everything appeared to be on a professional level. I told the receptionist who I was and waited no longer than ten minutes before an elderly gentlemen of amiable countenance greeted me and asked me in. After a little small talk, we got down to business. “Give a minute to review your resume,” he asked me. This is odd, I thought to myself; shouldn’t he have read the resume beforehand?
After he read the resume, I gave the man a brief background of my very successful sales career but he did not appear to be listening. I told him that I was not interested in any positions that involved intensive travel and that I was open to consulting or commission oriented sales.
When I finished the man looked at me and said, “I can tell you right away that by the way you present yourself and articulate your thoughts, anybody who meets you will be interested in talking to you. Would you mind me asking you some questions?”
“Who wrote this resume?”
Red Flag #1
“I did,” I lied (the resume had been written by a professional service).
“Hmmm…,” he responded. “Can you tell me how much you made in best year and how much you want to make?”
I told him.
“Hmmm…,” he said holding his hand under his chin. “After ten years, where do you expect to be with this company?”
I answered the questions.
“Hmmm…Can I be frank with you?” he asked.
“Like I said before, the way you present yourself and articulate is outstanding, but you need some help.”
A Humongous Red Flag#4
The man continued, “Number one: your resume needs work; it does not convey your professional career the way it should. Number 2: you are underselling yourself on salary, and Number 3: your interviewing skills could be sharpened.”
I am open to suggestions, I will let him continue.
A packet comes out of his desk, and without suggesting he is selling anything he says, “We can fix this resume, and help your interviewing and negotiating skills.”
This is one hell of an altruistic outfit!
I let him finish the presentation and then I gave him a good solid stare from across the desk. “So what this is, is a program?” I asked.
“And how much does it cost?”
There you have it.
A piece of advice for those of you seeking employment: When someone asks you for money to help you find a job, you need to find the door. You do not need to pay someone for placement; that is what your prospective employer is supposed to do by paying the employment agency.
Everyone has an angle these days: Beware!