The Recruiter / ATS Scam is back.
This scam has been written about in the past by Fortune magazine.
Here is the gist of the scam:
1. You are approached by a “recruiting” firm and told
you are being considered for an executive job – they ask you to send your
resume (and possibly have to sign a non-disclosure agreement).
2. You do a search on the “recruiting” firm and you find a few recent
press releases that they are actively recruiting folks.
3. You get back an email that your resume could not be loaded properly
in their ATS, although they could open it. They send you a link to “score”
your resume. (or just to a site to “fix” your resume for a fee – depending
on how it was set up).
4. You load your resume (with NO job announcement) to be scored. It
fails the “scorer.”
5. You are sent to a website that will “fix” your resume for a fee.
Note that the names of the websites might be
similar to legitimate headhunters or recruiters that actually exist in their
city or another location.
This scenario has been set up many times over the past few years.
These sites are FAKE.
Red flags for these sites:
1. An ATS resume scorer without a job announcement is likely not valid.
ATS score resumes based on a job announcement or job description.
2. Someone can open your resume but can’t copy and paste it into an ATS? Hmmmm
3. If you carefully look at the physical address they list in their
emails or on their website, it is not listed correctly in the way we would
write an address in the United States. For example, it may list a
neighborhood of a city in addition to a city name in the address, have a
comma between the state and zip code, or other error (this may or may not happen)
Also, check out the website URL. Is it spelled correctly?
4. There are only a few fairly recent press releases (even if the
company goes back to 1996 – which seems like a common number for these
sites). If it questions, check out the press releases and the organizations they are coming from.
5. You Google the images of their “recruiters” and they match pictures
of different people (perhaps even “recruiters’ on previous incarnations of
You should NEVER have to pay anything to a recruiter, unless you hire an agency to represent you and find you a job. (This is very unlikely and typically only used for high level positions paying in the $250-$500K range) Recruiter fees are paid by employers.
Why do they do this?
One possibility is some sort of identity fraud ring. Not only will they have your work history and personal information, but often at least part of, if not your whole credit card number. The monies you pay them are an added bonus.
If someone says your résumé is not ATS-friendly, it is not the résumé, it’s the scam!