If you’re looking for a job, you may see ads for firms that promise results. Many of these firms may be legitimate and helpful, but others may misrepresent their services, promote out-dated or fictitious job offerings, or charge high fees in advance for services that may not lead to a job.
Before you spend money responding to placement firms or completing placement contracts:
- Reject any company that promises to get you a job.
- Be skeptical of any employment-service firm that charges first, even if it guarantees refunds.
- Get a copy of the firm’s contract and read it carefully before you pay any money. Understand the terms and conditions of the firm’s refund policy. Make sure you understand what services the firm will provide and what you’ll be responsible for doing. If oral promises are made, but don’t appear in the contract, think twice about doing business with the firm.
- Take your time reading the contract. Don’t be caught up in a rush to pay for services. Stay away from high-pressure sales pitches that require you to pay now or risk losing out on an opportunity.
- Be cautious about purchasing services or products from a firm that’s reluctant to answer your questions.
- Be aware that some listing services and “consultants” write their ads to sound like they are jobs when they’re selling general information about getting a job.
- Follow up with the offices of any company or organization mentioned in an ad or an interview by an employment service to find out if the company is really hiring.
- Be wary of firms promoting “previously undisclosed” federal government jobs. All federal positions are announced to the public on www.usajobs.gov.
- Check with your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General’s Office, and the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed about a company with which you intend to do business. You also may contact these organizations if you have a problem with an employment-service firm.
The FTC at Work
The FTC sues businesses that fraudulently advertise employment openings and guarantee job placement.
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USAJOBS is the federal government’s official one-stop source for federal jobs and employment information.
- U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition
The Handbook covers hundreds of occupations, describing what the job entails, what working conditions are like, what training and education are needed, what earnings to expect, and what the job market is anticipated to be for the next few years. The Handbook also gives search tips and links to information about the job market in each state.
- BLS Career Information Home Page
Describes the nature, preparation, and future of various jobs in relation to a school subject.
CareerOneStop is a U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored website that offers career resources and workforce information to job seekers, students, businesses, and workforce professionals to foster talent development in a global economy. Links to state and other job banks, information on wages and salaries, relocating, creating resumes and preparing for interviews.
- Careers Directory, Job Search, Education, Home Business
A directory of career directories providing links to career information.
- Your Local Library
Many library websites have jobs and careers sections where you can find information about: public and private employment opportunities; job resources, including job training; job postings; and preparing resumes and cover letters.