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Writing isn’t easy, but neither is job hunting during a career change. You’ll need regular money coming in whilst you make the transition from 9-5, to boss of your own company. Unfortunately there are many unscrupulous people out there looking to take advantage of your hopes and dreams. I know this because I was the victim of one such scam recently. I put together a brief post on the things I think everyone should be watching out for when job hunting.
1. If it looks too good to be true…it usually is
There are a number of agencies advertising for part time models and actors across the web. No experience required! Sounds perfect for supplemental income right? Wrong. Sadly most of these are disguised selling techniques designed to take away your money before you’ve even got work. You get invited to an interview and the manager/casting director says they think you’re perfect and want to sign you right away. It sounds amazing! Then comes the sales pitch. You need professional photos taken before they can get you work and a pre-printed piece of paper is shoved in front of you detailing the costs. Even if you say you can’t afford it the director will sit back and say ‘well we need to get the photos done to take you on’. Even if you ask why they can’t pay the cost upfront, you’re met with ‘well we’re already paying to put you on casting websites and directories so we are investing in you’. The pitch is well practised and designed to take advantage of desperate people. I got done for £200 I didn’t have before I realised the whole thing was a scam.
BE ALERT! If it sounds too good to be true, it is. In the UK it is illegal for a modelling agency to charge upfront fees. No one should ever ask you for money at an interview. Legitimate agencies, acting guilds and trade unions will always recommend you report companies that do this. More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/agency-workers-your-rights/entertainment-and-modelling-agencies
Job hunting and recruitment have become like SEO. The web is filled with recruitment agencies all vying to earn their commission from placing candidates with their clients. If your CV or resume doesn’t have the right keywords for the role you’ve applied for, it will be filtered out immediately. It doesn’t matter if you’re a perfect fit.
STUDY THE JOB DESCRIPTION and adjust your CV to better reflect the key specifications the recruiter is looking for.
3. Don’t be impersonal
I hate receiving ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ letters but sometimes it’s hard to know how to open a cover letter. Always try and find out the name of the consultant or hiring manager responsible for the job you’re interested in. Ring the agency or company to check if you’re not sure. Most people are happy to help you. Personalisation will always put you ahead of a generic ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ cover letter.
4. Don’t lie
You’ll be caught and blacklisted. Showcase your best points on your CV or resume but if you weren’t responsible for achieving a particular result or filling a certain post, don’t say that you were. Retrospective self-promotion is never a good idea. Be honest with why you’re applying for the role, and give examples of how you feel you can contribute.
5. Don’t-not be yourself
Showing your best side at an interview is great, but don’t pretend to be something you’re not. I used to make the mistake of saying I was fine with things I wasn’t fine with at all. If you have questions about a role; ask! Hiring managers and recruiters will be far happier with a candidate who is curious and genuine. Saying one thing at interview to get a job and then becoming upset or miserable later on is never a good idea.