Registries, awards and honors may come with a price tag you can’t afford

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

The email looks innocuous enough: Nice Recognition – Welcome to your nomination for The 2013 Global Professional Network Registry.

Sounds like a recognition as a good boss or employee to bolster the résumé.

But, digging deeper before signing up shows this is a professional employment services agency. By offering the “recognition” into the network’s registry, they are creating a list of professionals that is then sold. resume 150x150 7 Tips for Optimizing Your Professional Profile Blog Check out the company behind any such offer at

Employment Agencies, Executive Search Firms, Temporary Employment Agencies and similar companies offer people an alternative way of advertising their availability in the job market or improving their job seeking skills – registries, almanacs, listings. Each company has their own method and policies about screening and testing applicants which are dependent on the company’s area of specialization and the type of job you are seeking.

Some companies offer only training and consulting to job seekers; providing resume writing and coaching about positive interviewing techniques and similar subjects. Some agencies may charge a fee, either to you or the employer, should they help you in finding a job.

Signing up or registering with an employment agency or search firm is NOT a guarantee of employment. The only person who can get YOU a job is YOU. The amount of effort you put into your job search, your qualifications, the impression you give a prospective employer through your written & verbal skills-as well as in person, are what will help you in landing a new job.

BBB says people need to make sure they understand what services an agency or search firm offers and what they charge for those services, before signing anything.

Here are some tips to polish your electronic resume:

  1. Keep it up to date: Post as often as you can with any new changes, statements, or recommendations. Try getting a new recommendation once a month; or, if you receive multiple recommendations at once, spread them out in your postings.
  2. Refresh your keywords and specialties: Find popular terms from job search websites that describe specifically what you do and integrate them into your profile. Be careful not to overuse these keywords, however, and be sure to include them in a natural way.
  3. Be Everywhere: Create multiple online profiles, making sure your message is consistent throughout all of them. Participate in online discussions, post recommendations, and comment on blogs to get yourself out there!
  4. Get the recognition you deserve: Don’t be modest! If you have received any awards or have had special accomplishments, SHARE THEM!
  5. Diversity your professional and peer recommendations: Having recommendations from more than one group will add to your credibility. Don’t have all your recommendations come from your coworkers at your previous job, for example.
  6. Request personal and professional recommendations: Ask for specific recommendations, but always remember to say thank you. It is very important to show your appreciation, and little things like a thank you note or a $5 Starbucks card may help more than you think.
  7. Get involved in groups on LinkedIn and other job forums: Look for LinkedIn groups and job forums that relate to your specific career goals and get involved. Such groups and forums can be great ways to network with company executives and recruiters.

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