It’s no secret to anyone who knows me, I’m unemployed. I have been unemployed for two years now as I graduated from college in the middle of the recession here in the United States. I’ve been looking for work ever since in addition to going back to school to try to increase, even more, my odds of finding a decent job.
I recent applied to a job that I was hoping would get my foot in the door of the publishing industry as an administrative assistant. I figured If I stay long enough at the company eventually my networking, good work habits and knowledge of the industry plus the skill I already have from being educated will propel me into the job I want as the Art director of a magazine or as an editor. You can imagine, then, how happy I felt to get the first response that any job has given me in two years and have it be one that says “We want to hire you.”
I was sooo excited I immediately TOSSED my Xbox controller out of my hand, jumped up and danced. Then I read the rest of the email.
First, we’ll need you to come in for an interview, along with several other candidates for the position. The hiring process is split up into three parts–a preliminary credit check, a face-to-face interview, and a background check.
The credit check is now company policy in all hiring processes, to ensure the seriousness of the applicant. Your credit score will NOT affect any decisions on employment. So don’t worry… it’s just a first step to get to know you better.
Click here [link redacted] to get your free credit report. This part is required. Once this is done, simply send us the transaction ID # you get, and we’ll set you up for an interview in the next couple days.
I thought, well this is odd. Why would a publishing company need my credit report? Part of me feels like being paranoid and suspicious about everything is cynical and leaves me falling way behind my peers, but the other part of me knows something is off. I am highly perceptive about certain things and my gut feeling tells me, “You need to check this out.”
So I went to their website, which was so kindly provided in the form of :
I type it into my browser window and hit enter. What came up was essentially a wordpress blog with no real information about the company except a mission statement that used a lot of positive wording and tried to sound like they gave a shit about the world. What really stuck out is that these people claimed they were the brains behind Ebony Magazine and JET magazine. Now, I have to ask my self why a publishing company whose key products are Ebony/JET magazine would have a wordpress blog as their website. Not a site based off the wordpress platform with a custom template that made it look like a regular website but was easily updatable through the admin panel. No…a wordpress blog complete with the wordpress default links in the link roll and a link to wordpress at the bottom of the site.
So I go, “let me look into this further”. A quick check of whois.net and I find out the site is owned and operated out of California (literally on the west coast of the country while I live on the east coast) and was created on may 11, 2011. Let me say that again. It was CREATED on May 11, 2011. Now, how long has Ebony Magazine been around? You do the math.
So here’s the importance of being tech savvy and being aware of how to find information that you need to come to a conclusion.
I am a jobless individual who knows how to customize wordpress templates to make them look like actual sites. Not a corporation who can hire people do so such. Me having a wordpress blog that looks like a wordpress blog is acceptable.
The real publisher of the afformentioned magazines is Johnson Publishing
if you go to their website you will see an actual website, with content and proof that they own the copyright and publish the magazines.
Any job that asks for personal information off the bat, with the exception of a background check for certain industries, should be brought into question and you should do research BEFORE replying to them.
If you have doubts about something, go to google. Go to whois.net . Go to someone who may know something about what you need answered, but don’t take their word blindly.
They say it’s good to research the company you plan on working for before the interview so you know what you’re getting yourself into and they know that you are showing active interest in them and what they do. Do that. Never, ever take their word first it may be wrong and they may be just trying to scam you out of personal information. If they check out and are legit you can rest happy knowing this. If they aren’t then you can rest happy knowing you didn’t make a mistake you’d regret for months to come.
Part of me wants to reply to make sure I’m not reading too much into this, anyone saying they want to hire you after two years of being unemployed…you want it to be the real thing. But my brain is telling me no and it’s giving me so much evidence to make a case that my heart will just have to deal with the truth.
Anyone taking advantage of people who need work in this time should be shot. There, I said it.