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June 22, 2016

If it Seems Too Good to be True…

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I recently received a letter from Arthur D. Smith. Arthur D., who I’ve never met, asked me to get back to him ASAP. It seems that I’m the beneficiary of $13.9 million as a result of being next of kin to someone named John Lee.

Arthur D. resides in Lagos, Nigeria (duh!) and has two email addresses listed on his correspondence: one under a yahoo account and the other under a Gmail account. For the record, ‘Smith’ is spelled identically in both email addresses.

Here is the abridged version of his “official” correspondence containing my good fortune: “I am seeking for your cooperation to present you to my bank as the next of kin to John Lee so that the sum of USD 13,900,000 will be pay to you as the beneficiary. I am the head of investigation department of United Bank for Africa The Board of Directors of United Bank of Africa mandated me to look for any known relation’s of the late John Lee for payment of his estate/funds he left behind with our bank as the beneficiary, since, after his death 07/03/2013, however all efforts traces abortive, that is the main reason I am writing you this to ask for your cooperation for us to claim this money, since he is a civilian/nationality of your country”.

Please know that I reviewed the above paragraph multiple times and therefore crystal clear this is exactly the way Arthur D. penned it to me, complete with run-on sentence, lack of punctuation, etc.

I know Arthur D. doesn’t really have this money, and even if in some miraculous way he did, he wouldn’t be working overtime to locate and share it with me. But, man, 14 large! I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that for just a few seconds I was trying to figure out how to lay claim to the estate without getting bamboozled. And if P.T. Barnum was correct – that there is a sucker born every minute – I wouldn’t be the only one having such grandiose thoughts when some Arthur D. came calling.

Barnum may have been onto something, if not with regards to phony inheritance scams certainly so with career trials and tribulations. The dirty tricks currently utilized by Corporate America have been recited in earlier blogs but here is a quick laundry list: phantom job postings, the same job posted under a variety of titles, dead end interview processes, blanket claims that “we’re always looking for talented people” and of course the ubiquitous ‘bots’ that drag you through key word hell and seal your fate even before (or if) a real person reviews your information.

Temptation is what it is, however, and it may seem harmless to throw your resume at an interesting posting when you know in your heart you’d be better served filling out a Powerball ticket. Or when that recruiter comes calling out of the blue and everything seems beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Until it goes dark, dark, dark.

I have recounted stories told to me about good candidates put into a deep freeze following day long interviews with absolutely no feedback or explanation. It’s worse than a bad Tinder date. At least with the date one or both parties will officially call a halt to the proceedings.

If you’re mad as hell and won’t take it anymore, and you have the bonafides to back you up, there is a better way. The Gould Group isn’t for everyone but we are an excellent resource for ‘A’ level sales and marketing talent. If you can hit our bar where it’s set you’ll be well positioned to tip a buyers’ market on its side.

Companies that do business with us do so because they are aware of the elite talent pool we keep. The war for talent is real and will become more pronounced over time. If you are on the top of your game and that little voice is getting louder, we should connect. Our track record for introducing talented professionals to excellent opportunities speaks for itself. And most importantly, without the b.s.