Monday, February 15, 2010

The Market for Fake Job References

CNN has the story here, of CareerExcuse.com, which will provide "the highest quality employment verification services and helping job seekers acquire 'great' references for their resume." In other words, if you don't have good job references and you're looking for a job, you can buy them. From the bit:

Schmidt is the founder of CareerExcuse.com, a Web site that says it will fill any gap on your résumé by acting as your past employer. It will go as far as creating a new company with an accompanying phone number, logo, Web site and LinkedIn profile. He says the site is designed to "help our subscribers meet the needs of the modern day job market."

It's an interesting service-- since signal extraction is increasingly difficult with letters of recommendation, my suspicion is that while it won't tip the scales in anyone's favor it may get someone in the door. Further, the downside risk is virtually nil; if your choice is a bad (or less than stellar) recommendation or purchasing a fake one, the consequences of the latter if found out is likely the same as the former-- you just don't get the job. Hiring is already a costly process and I don't see employers shouldering the effort of generating a network to blacklist fakes.

These would seem to work best for entry to mid-range jobs; high end positions are likely to be had through networking and networking (as far as I know) can't be purchased.

CareerExcuse is balancing an interesting line; vast success may overwhelm their ability to stay away from the public eye.

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