Living and working overseas

Overseas Employment Scams

For many people the prospect of moving overseas to live and work is such an attractive and exotic proposition that they’ll sometimes clutch at any opportunity that comes their way without careful research and consideration – and this is a fact known to many unscrupulous companies that litter newspapers, tabloids, magazine and such with advertisements offering an easy way into a new country with well paid work, perhaps accommodation and even immigration assistance.

Caveat Emptor’ (or Buyer Beware) should be the rallying cry, for this is invariably where such propositions end up – with the person responding to the advertisement needing to purchase something at some point for so-called specialised ‘inside’ information or services. There are many variations on the theme but essentially they all add up to the same prospect – you’ll have to pay money at some point.

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Once you know what to look for these advertisements are relatively easy to spot but commonsense is the biggest ally you can have. If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is. To avoid falling victim to such employment scams there are a number of tell-tale signs that you can look out for and avoid – such as companies that:
  • ‘guarantee’ to find you a position
  • claim they have the exclusive ‘inside ear’ of hundreds or thousands of companies and can submit your C.V. to them
  • request that you send money up front for services or request payment by money order
  • only operate from a P.O. Box or ‘0800’ number
  • charge fees for job leads or introductions
  • insist that you must ‘act now’ to avoid deadlines and such

Job ‘Guarantees’

Unfortunately no company is likely to be in a position to guarantee an overseas applicant a job. What they are effectively claiming is that no matter who you are, where you come from, what your education or professional experience is, they will find you a job. Taking it a step further, by stating ‘guarantee’ they are inferring that a payment must be made and that any money paid will be returned to you if they do not find you a position. Be wary about such claims and be particularly cautious before sending any money to companies making such claims. While they might state they will refund your money if you are not placed in a job, the company, in it’s legal state, may not be around long enough to be obliged to fulfill it’s obligations.

Submitting your C.V. to ‘thousands of companies’

Particularly on the Internet, this kind of advertisement seems to be becoming more prevalent. Essentially, for a fee, a company will claim to have the authorisation of hundreds, if not thousands, of companies to submit C.V.’s to them – and that you, by using their services, will have a better chance than those who don’t use them of getting a job with those companies.

Relationships between employment agencies and businesses are normally formed and nurtured over time. The chances therefore of one single agency having the exclusive rights to submit C.V.’s to thousands of legitimate businesses must be considered extremely slim indeed. Furthermore, it is in the best interests of those agencies to only submit for consideration to those companies candidates who are likely to meet only the highest standards when it comes to actual vacancies the businesses may have. It is most certainly not in their interests for long-term relationships with those businesses for the agency to submit every single C.V. that the agency receives from overseas. It is more likely therefore that while these agencies may indeed submit your C.V. to thousands of companies, the approach is likely to be unsolicited and unwelcome by the companies themselves. If you have e-mail, think about the spam that you will undoubtedly receive on a daily basis. E-mails that you haven’t asked for, peddling products and services that you don’t want. This is likely to be how your C.V. is presented to an employer – as spam. If you are serious about wanting to work overseas, this would be the last option you’d choose for presenting your C.V. to a potential employer.

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