Don’t Fall For Their Con! |

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As much as third-party recruiters are criticized for lying to job hunters, employers run a “hustle,” too. As a former employer mine used to do when he gave me accolades regularly, but was the type of person who would steal a dime from you. On this show, I point out the two extremes of “the con,” and encourage you not to fall for it.

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I want to talk with you today about some of the ways employers try to con you doing your job search.

I used to work for a guy who always used to talk about how much he loved everyone – – love, love, love, love, love, love – – "I love you Jeff. You're wonderful. I love you so-and-so. You are terrific!" He would steal a dime from you if given an opportunity.

Employers do this and interviewing as well. They say things like, "Oh, man! Your background looks great!" Or "I don't know. You're missing some things we are really looking for." In both extremes, what they are doing is playing games.

It's the game of trying to "finessed you" into doing what they really want you to do. For example, in the positive spin, people let their guard down. They open themselves up even more and reveal things to the employer they probably shouldn't reveal because, after all, "it's looking good, right?" In the other example, they beat you up and try talking you about what you're missing and what your deficiencies are so they can drive you down on money.

I had a friend who was involved with a negotiation recently. He was brought in by someone he knew professionally, known one another for a number of years, brought into a firm after interviewing on multiple occasions over the course of the six-month period of time, then they come in with a lowball offer. The lowball came in out of the blue; all along, they tell you how much they love him and his background and may offer him a lot less blood than what he told them he was earning and what his value is to them.

So we decided to circle back into another negotiation with them and I had warned him that there was going to be a possibility of this happening to and I kept encouraging them to try to generate different situations for himself because I wasn't so sure about this one was going to come and successfully. I thought it might but you can't let your guard down; you always have to be selling. Otherwise, unless you are, "the con" wins. There are lots of different ways these comments work.

So I always want you to out there and making sure of your real value – – value in the marketplace and value to the organization. If they try to sweet-talk you ("oh you're wonderful"), keep being out there selling yourself; you keep marketing yourself. You keep trying to generate opportunities because you can't be certain that they are being forthright/honest. Conversely, if the beating you up ("will you take a lot less?), You can respond by saying, "I have a drop-dead price just like you do. If you think I'm worth that much less, this may not be the right thing for me and I probably am not the right person for you. If you really think that's my value, let's just shake hands, parties friends and move on." It's better to do that rather than putting yourself through the agony of pleading with them. Just shut them up and bring this thing to a happy ending for each of you where you shake hands and go off on something else.

Now, if you have nothing going on and you been on five interviews with this firm, and this is your best hope, you play out this hand. However, most of the time, falling for the con in either way whether it's the "I love you con" or "You're a piece of dog-whatever," isn't worth anything to you.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
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