Kelly Donovan
Principal, Kelly Donovan & Associates
  • LinkedIn strategist & profile writer
  • Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
  • Certified Hidden Job Market Coach (CHJMC)
  • Outplacement provider
  • Speaker & trainer
  • Globally recognized work (TORI nominee)

I help execs leave jobs that aren't fun anymore and land their dream jobs!

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Watch Out: 5 Job Search Scams to Avoid

Job search scams seem to be more pervasive than ever these days.

Here are 5 common scams to watch out for:

  • Any employer requiring you to pay an application fee to apply.
  • A headhunter or recruiter requesting a fee for services; these professionals are paid by the employers, not the candidates.
  • Fake employers posting on Craigslist; and any strange requests from employers on Craigslist.
  • Companies that say they will help you tap into the hidden job market and charge a large up-front fee, like $4,000 or $10,000+; if their system is effective, why can’t you pay as you go? (Do not confuse this with well-established, reputable career coaches who have excellent LinkedIn recommendations.
  • Any employers you can’t find any information about. Working for a small company can be terrific, but be diligent in making sure that a company you’ve never heard of is truly legitimate. Any con artist can set up a website, so you’ll need to look for independent verification that goes beyond that.


And here are 3 situations that may or may not be scams that you should be vigilant about:

  • Bait and switch scenarios in which you’re invited to an interview for a “management job,” and then find yourself in a group interview for a sales job.
  • Companies that provide services to help you find a job for a hefty fee, like $10,000+. Many are outright scams. Be very skeptical.
  • Employers requesting your Social Security Number on online applications; you should be able to provide this later, after they offer you the job and are ready to do the background check and employment verification.


And, finally, here is one other service that you might want to avoid, even though they aren’t “scams,” per se:

  • Popular resume distribution services that promise to blast your resume to everyone on the planet; this is like spam and will not benefit you. However, there is a good option for targeting recruiters I can introduce you to, although this service isn’t right for everyone.


Don't hire a resume service until you read..."Questions to Ask a Resume Service"


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"I had four headhunters find me on LinkedIn and contact me, and my resume did a great job of showing what I can bring to a company. I'm very excited to be starting my new job. I highly recommend Kelly's services and will be referring friends to her." -Phil F., Director of Business Development, Los Angeles area (via LinkedIn)

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Our Difference

  • Recruiter Perspective
    We have an active executive recruiter for Fortune 500 companies who will review your resume before we finalize it
  • Up-to-the-Minute
    Kelly is more up to date than industry peers on how to get you noticed on LinkedIn, as well as resume trends
  • Comprehensive
    Our team can equip you with everything you need
  • Attentive
    You can call or email Kelly if you have a question during your job search