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Ethical Dilemma : Job consultants and resume "editing" ?

Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
I recently came to know about "consultancy firms" that help people (especially freshers/ones with no experience) to get jobs, contracts or internships with companies of all sizes. Yes, fortune 500 too !!! The job consultants manipulate the candidates resume and provide them some sort of crash course/training to prepare them for the job. Once a candidate gets the job or contract, the consultants help them if they are unable to solve a problem in their job. It is surprising that companies are aware of this practice and continue to hire people this way, especially for short-term projects. I now know people who used this route and were absorbed into the company as regular employees.

I am a fresher and I cannot lose too much time waiting for a desirable response. I just need that crucial break to prove myself. I now face an ethical dilemma, whether I should use the above approach or not.
On one hand, it seems okay because all a company wants is to get their work done. If I can do the job properly, then it does not matter if I let the consultants add fictitious experience to my resume.
On the other hand, I feel that the company is being cheated and they are not getting the experience that they are paying for, even though the candidate may do the job properly. I am really confused whether I should do this or not.

I will be grateful if you can advice me on this matter.

Thanks.

Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10426
    
    8

Welcome to the Ranch.

The fact that you are asking this question here indicates, that you are OK with this thing. So I would suggest go for it.


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Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
Maneesh Godbole wrote:Welcome to the Ranch.

The fact that you are asking this question here indicates, that you are OK with this thing. So I would suggest go for it.


Were you aware of such consultants ?
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3220
I know that the recruitment consultants provide some kind of a cover letter highlighting the relevance of your skills and experience to the job specification, but never heard that they actually modify your resume. That does not sound right.


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Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18878
    
  40

arulk pillai wrote:I know that the recruitment consultants provide some kind of a cover letter highlighting the relevance of your skills and experience to the job specification, but never heard that they actually modify your resume. That does not sound right.


And even it the resume does get modified, how much can be enhanced? The candidate still has to get by the interview process -- and with freshers, with no actual experience, adding fake experience will just focus the interviewers' attention on that experience.

Henry


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Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
Henry Wong wrote:
arulk pillai wrote:I know that the recruitment consultants provide some kind of a cover letter highlighting the relevance of your skills and experience to the job specification, but never heard that they actually modify your resume. That does not sound right.


And even it the resume does get modified, how much can be enhanced? The candidate still has to get by the interview process -- and with freshers, with no actual experience, adding fake experience will just focus the interviewers' attention on that experience.

Henry


Yes, but I asked some guys. They said that not everyone gets past the interviewers. The consultants provide crash courses so the candidates may be able to answer some of the questions related to their fake experience. They also give them a list of expected questions (and their answers) that can help them to get through. You will be surprised (and so was I) to see that people add anything like 1 to 7 years of experience to a freshers resume !!!

Prasad Krishnegowda
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 25, 2010
Posts: 532

Sanjay Trivedi wrote:You will be surprised (and so was I) to see that people add anything like 1 to 7 years of experience to a freshers resume !!!

Even i am quite surprised with this, i have heard of adding 1-2 years of experience for freshers, but not something like 3 or 4 or say 7 as you have said.
If some one adds 6-7 years of experience for a fresher and they manage to get into some company, i seriously doubt the capability of the recruitment wing of that company. A very good interviewer will be able to easily find out, whether a person is faking the experience..
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3220
Will these consultants last long?
Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
arulk pillai wrote:Will these consultants last long?


I am sorry, but i do not understand what that means. Are you asking if these consultants may be shut down ? I doubt it. I wonder why this thread has not got more attention.
Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
arulk pillai wrote:I know that the recruitment consultants provide some kind of a cover letter highlighting the relevance of your skills and experience to the job specification, but never heard that they actually modify your resume. That does not sound right.


Ethical "grey" area.
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3220
If the recruitment consultants don't provide quality candidates to their client, they will lose the trust of their clients (in this case the employers).
Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
arulk pillai wrote:If the recruitment consultants don't provide quality candidates to their client, they will lose the trust of their clients (in this case the employers).


True. But I spoke to three guys who were once freshers. All of them are in "big" companies. They all knew very little at the time of the interview and were stuck several times during the job. That is when they would e-mail or call the consultants to seek help and get their respective jobs done. So, in some cases the companies never discover/overlook the employees lack of experience. Then, after doing that same job for months or years, these guys get to a point where they are good enough to be promoted. I did hear of some cases where faked resumes were discovered for some employees, and not all of them. Never spoke to such people in person.

Now, I am in favour of using this method.

Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18878
    
  40

Sanjay Trivedi wrote:
arulk pillai wrote:If the recruitment consultants don't provide quality candidates to their client, they will lose the trust of their clients (in this case the employers).


True. But I spoke to three guys who were once freshers. All of them are in "big" companies. They all knew very little at the time of the interview and were stuck several times during the job. That is when they would e-mail or call the consultants to seek help and get their respective jobs done. So, in some cases the companies never discover/overlook the employees lack of experience. Then, after doing that same job for months or years, these guys get to a point where they are good enough to be promoted. I did hear of some cases where faked resumes were discovered for some employees, and not all of them. Never spoke to such people in person.



Interestingly, if there are any recruiters that did this, I'll just pretend not to know, and let the ruse continue. Ramping up employees is not cheap (this is why companies pay more for experience). Supporting employees during this process is not cheap. In this case, you have a recruiter that will give free training and consulting services (at least to the company that doesn't know). The value of the safety net to company projects is worth it.

On the other hand, I find this highly unlikely. Recruiters who cheat to get candidates into companies either (1) has issues with being able to cull candidates correctly or (2) don't want to spend the time as it is more expensive to do a more extensive search. In the first case, I find it unlikely that the recruiters has the technical skill to support the deception. And in the second case, I find it unlikely that the recruiters will find it cheaper to do this deception than to just find more companies to cheat.


Sanjay Trivedi wrote:
Now, I am in favour of using this method.


Since you are looking to do this, I would be interested to know what happens in a few years -- so would appreciate if you report back.... although, my gut is telling me that you have been sold a bill of goods.

Henry
Prasad Krishnegowda
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 25, 2010
Posts: 532

Sanjay Trivedi wrote:they would e-mail or call the consultants to seek help and get their respective jobs done. So, in some cases the companies never discover/overlook the employees lack of experience.

I have never heard about this, nor can't believe this, a employee asking technical support from an consultancy and they providing it.
Also, for how many months/years they provide this kind of support?
Its also a big security violation, since some clients put restrictions on the data/documents that can be shared, and if this is the case, its quite clearly a security breach of the client agreement.

arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3220
It is also partly caused by employers asking for technologies a,b,c, d, etc , frameworks x, y, z, etc, and not recognizing the real capability and the experience. The recruitment agents are more interested in how many times Spring appear in your resume than your true capabilities. Once you start working, you will be using 1 or two things at a time, not the laundry list that was in the job spec.
Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
Prasad Krishnegowda wrote:
Sanjay Trivedi wrote:they would e-mail or call the consultants to seek help and get their respective jobs done. So, in some cases the companies never discover/overlook the employees lack of experience.

I have never heard about this, nor can't believe this, a employee asking technical support from an consultancy and they providing it.
Also, for how many months/years they provide this kind of support?
Its also a big security violation, since some clients put restrictions on the data/documents that can be shared, and if this is the case, its quite clearly a security breach of the client agreement.



Obviously, the consultant did not support those guys forever. Just 2-3 months into the job, they provided with technical support. The candidates learn on the job and hopefully figure out the technologies involved in their job quickly enough. I dont really know if the guys shared confidential company data with consultants. But, it is unlikely that they would. Or they might even have shared only a small part of the project and not the whole. So, it might not be possible to figure out the whole project.
Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
arulk pillai wrote:It is also partly caused by employers asking for technologies a,b,c, d, etc , frameworks x, y, z, etc, and not recognizing the real capability and the experience. The recruitment agents are more interested in how many times Spring appear in your resume than your true capabilities. Once you start working, you will be using 1 or two things at a time, not the laundry list that was in the job spec.


Surprising ! That is quite different from what i have heard from the guys in the industry. They say that you need to be a master in 2-3 technologies and have a strong base in some others.
Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
I am a little surprised to see that the people in this forum (from IT industry) dont know about this thing.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18878
    
  40

Sanjay Trivedi wrote:I am a little surprised to see that the people in this forum (from IT industry) dont know about this thing.


I find it surprising that you used "surprised" to describe your emotion to this. If I was in your shoes, I would probably use the word "concerned". You are about to engage in something that you regard as somewhat unethical -- and you have a forum full of users, many of whom with decades worth of experience, saying that while they heard of the unethical practice of recruiters, they never heard of the safety net support that you are describing.

Regardless, good luck ... and please report back about this.

Henry
Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
Henry Wong wrote:
Sanjay Trivedi wrote:I am a little surprised to see that the people in this forum (from IT industry) dont know about this thing.


I find it surprising that you used "surprised" to describe your emotion to this. If I was in your shoes, I would probably use the word "concerned". You are about to engage in something that you regard as somewhat unethical -- and you have a forum full of users, many of whom with decades worth of experience, saying that while they heard of the unethical practice of recruiters, they never heard of the safety net support that you are describing.

Regardless, good luck ... and please report back about this.

Henry


Concerned ? Maybe not. I dont see them doing critical airlines, medical, banking projects or similar things. Mostly stuff like shopping websites.
If I get through this, depending on the circumstances, I will might some info with you.

The safety net is not inconceivable. Just think of it as a paid version of this website. Money is the motivation, and what a strong motivator it can be. The consultants take part of your salary initially.

BTW, there I was introduced to one guy who told me he was scared at his fortune 500 interview. He got in some how and some tense situations on the job, but he manged to wriggle his way through.
I too am desperate to break that never ending cycle of no experience, no job and no job, no experience.

Thanks for all the good wishes !

Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
Henry Wong wrote:although, my gut is telling me that you have been sold a bill of goods.
Henry


Please tell me what that means.
Sanjay Trivedi
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 22
On the side, think of this thing like multi-threading. A consultant/recruiter (processor) services many companies (threads). That way he/she is able to use his 7-14 years of experience to work for as high as 10-20 companies at the same time, through their client job seekers. If I knew so much, I would become a consultant/helper myself.



chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1731
    
  14

You should probably check out the discussion on this post, as it may become relevant to you.

It's normal to try to put the best possible gloss on your skills/experience when applying for jobs, but this is different. I have never experienced this kind of thing myself, despite being a contractor for 20 years in the UK. However, having seen the dismal quality of some of the code delivered from some cheap offshore providers, it wouldn't surprise me that much to know it's a common practice elsewhere.

You should ask yourself some questions about how you would deal with various possible consequences of this, though.

  • What if the "consultant" is simply lying to make a sale to an unsuspecting client? What if he can't help you, or gets fired? How do you explain your sudden loss of skills to your boss?
  • What if your boss finds out and decides to fire you and hire somebody who actually knows what they're doing? Can they take you to court for lying to get the job?
  • Some major projects are being carried out in India on behalf of banks, government departments etc who care about confidentiality and security issues. Do you think they would be happy with you telling your "consultant" friend about the details of their projects?
  • Finally, if you're using your real name here, what if one of your colleagues spots this discussion and starts to ask questions about your experience?

  • Get a job on your own merits, and if you can't do that, try to acquire some different skills/experience of your own that you can sell honestly.


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    fred rosenberger
    lowercase baba
    Bartender

    Joined: Oct 02, 2003
    Posts: 11358
        
      16

    Sanjay Trivedi wrote:
    Henry Wong wrote:although, my gut is telling me that you have been sold a bill of goods.
    Henry


    Please tell me what that means.

    "sold a bill of goods" basically means you've been deceived. A "bill of goods" is a list of items you have paid for. If those items don't actually exist, you have now spent a fortune and all you have is a slip of paper - hence you have bought, and someone else has sold - nothing more than the bill of goods.


    There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
    Sanjay Trivedi
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Mar 30, 2012
    Posts: 22
    chris webster wrote:
    It's normal to try to put the best possible gloss on your skills/experience when applying for jobs, but this is different. I have never experienced this kind of thing myself, despite being a contractor for 20 years in the UK. However, having seen the dismal quality of some of the code delivered from some cheap offshore providers, it wouldn't surprise me that much to know it's a common practice elsewhere.


    Firstly, thanks for sharing the link. I am not really surprised too see that the quality of code that would come from some of these people. I just asked some of the guys basic questions and I was shocked at both the lack of knowledge and the fake answers they threw at me. I am not saying that i am know it all, but i am certainly not as bad as these guys. No, surprise then that many of these guys dont even clear 5-10 interviews in a row. But the some still make it. Only god knows what kind of code they develop after that.

    Besides that, I appreciate the other points you have made. Now, I am still considering going the long-hard way. But one thing really angers me - big consultancy firms (prominent ones and not some hut) tell lies about their employees too to bag projects. They charge hefty fees and also get away with it. I spoke to some of my friends who had to do it for the company. Most people are wicked, its just that they need the proper conditions to do wicked things.

    I forgot to add that these consultants will teach us everything under the sun in three months - databases, frameworks, front end, back end etc. Things that will take years to master. I guess I should just get more certifications and make some kind of a demo project to show my capabilities. But what value does a self-made project have in the industry ? That project may not be of industry-strength. So who will count that as experience ? How about freelancing on internet portals ? How do I do that and add it to my resume as experience ?
    Jeanne Boyarsky
    author & internet detective
    Marshal

    Joined: May 26, 2003
    Posts: 30598
        
    154

    Sanjay,
    Learning from people who know more is a good thing. Working on a "mock" project is a good thing. Some major US banks send entry level hires to training for a couple months at first before turning them lose on the code. This is experience. Saying you worked on a "three month training project" is real. You can talk about it at interviews. You can probably demo it at interviews. (I can't imagine the consulting shop has a non-diclosure.)

    I would be wary of claiming actual experience you don't have though. When I interview, I expect you to know what you say you know. Suppose I'm presented with two candidates:
    Candidate A: I worked on a three month training project with X and Y. I know it a medium amount. We talk about X and Y. Candidate's experience match.
    Candidate B: I worked on X and Y for two years. We talk about X and Y. Candidate has shakey knowledge.

    Candidate A is the clear winner here. "I don't know" is an important answer at an interview. As soon as the candidate doesn't match the resume, we have a problem because I have to start wondering what else is being hidden from me.


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