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Ask Sarah - Should you buy job leads?

Job search expert Sarah Weinberger has worked with job seekers for years answering their questions and providing them tools by which to succeed. Her analytical mind bridges the gap between the engineering of a career search and individuals.

She welcomes your questions, and encourages you to send them into her. Please use our contact form or connect with her on LinkedIn. She will select questions to answer and post the answer on this site. Below are some of the questions she received and answered.

Since before the internet even existed, there exists people hanging up their shingle advertising that you pay them to get you job leads. Pay them $5,000 and they will get you an interview. They advertise themselves as professionals and have a special source, where 90% of all job seekers get employees.

Anyone who has read my How To Get The Job Like A Professional knows that I talked about this topic. Here, I want to expand on this idea.

When you want a job, you have to obviously look for a job, even if that is asking a friend. That is still looking for a job. Looking for a job has many similarities to marketing. Much of it is the same concept. You have to market yourself and what you can do. You then have to sell yourself. Shortcuts that exist for a job seeker are usually the same shortcuts for those in marketing a product. The product in this case is your skill.

With the advent of the internet, there are new ways to play this game. They post content on social media using an application that is easily attainable and will write some text on your behalf posting on social media periodically, so as to keep you in public view. Some people even will try and sell you friends regardless of the social media: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.

To any of you, who have watched the ABC television show, Once Upon a Time, will know the three (3) rules of magic.

  1. All magic comes with a price
  2. Magic cannot make someone love you
  3. Magic cannot bring someone back from the dead

You may ask me what this fictional show has to do with searching for a job. The answer is a lot. The concept of the show has its roots in fairy tales, but the underlying laws are sound. The first two laws say the same thing, namely that you cannot take a shortcut and you cannot give someone else the work on your behalf. There are exceptions. I do believe in matchmaking, but even there, the matchmaker can only do so much. The person desiring the match still must do a lot of work.

Misrepresentation is something that comes into play, when you hire someone to post articles on your behalf. You have to write your own content. People have to know you, not someone else. Misrepresentation comes back to haunt you, and will also hurt you. You cheat yourself out of the knowledge gained from the experience writing.

You cannot buy Facebook friends. That is the most laughable thing that I have heard yet. Fake friends will not know you or care about you. They more than likely will not take the time to even look at your profile on Facebook.

That brings to mind, when you look for work, think work. Facebook is a great tool to aid in your job search. Tailor your Facebook page to say what kind of job you want. Everyone is on Facebook and spends hour after hour on it.

Fake people are just that and more than likely do not exist or are not in a position to do anything. Either they are too young, not human, too old, or whatever. I do not want to talk too much on fake profiles, as Google shows articles on this topic. The gist, however, is that fake profiles tend to be easy to spot, if you spend time looking at it. Ah, think of shortcuts as spam email addresses. The fast majority of them are fake or stolen.

There is no shortcut when it comes to a job search. You must talk to people, formulate conversations, keep in touch with them, and have them spread the word about you.

Social media is in addition to the traditional methods for searching for a job, but what you get by cultivating friendships is that you get to know people inside companies.

So many people want to take shortcuts, when it comes to a job search or get lazy, but you simply must role up your sleeves and do the work. The real pain is not in the doing, but in the not doing, watching your life go bye and wondering if it could be better wondering if you settled rather than give your best.

Being unhappy in your job comes across in all facets of your life. Even if it did not, which it does, people spend more time at work than anywhere else. If you factor in driving, then work far out numbers anything else. You should be happy in what you do.

A career coach is not a magician and does not have a magic hat to get you a job. Clients do the real work, much as athletes. A coach can only steer and guide a person correcting mistakes.

All magic comes with a price. In the end, the best magic is rolling up your sleeves, acting smart, working diligently, and taking steps along your yellow brick road until you reach your dream. Always keep in mind your end goal and spread the word about that goal. People should think of you and your goal as one and the same.

As a last thought, even Rumpelstiltskin with all his magic accomplished his goals without magic. Magic just hurt him. Suffering and struggling is the real magic. That does not mean that you cannot take a real shortcut. That is by getting allies in your corner and people who care about you and your outcome.


Information presented on this site is to give possible answers to your question, however each situation is different. Also, Sarah is not an attorney. Each locality has different rules and regulations, which may apply. If you have any legal questions, please consult an attorney. The information here is for informational purposes only.

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