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Archives: August 2009

Minneapolis Headhunting Firm Investigated For Misleading Claims

A headhunting firm in Minneapolis is under investigation from the state Better Business Bureau and possibly the attorney general’s office after complaints from jobseekers put it under scrutiny, but Arthur Group Executive Search has possibly beaten the regulators by closing its doors, the Star Tribune reports.

Jobseekers paid as much as $3,000 for assistance with job interviews, resume work, and job leads but say the search firm didn’t deliver the goods.

Though owner Barry Trimble told the Strib that he was doing nothing wrong, one former employee said clients were misled “without a doubt.”

The way it worked: Get potential customers in the door and make sure they had money, then rip apart their résumé and their skills in a “mock interview” situation. Have them sign up and pay for the services with promises that the Arthur Group had relationships with dozens of prestigious companies and could help them get a job.

“There were a few jobs. There were a few relationships,” said [the former employee], who quit in November 2008 after nearly a year. “It was certainly not what he was telling people.”

By Minnesota law, headhunting firms are not allowed to charge applicants a fee, making Arthur Group technically an outplacement firm. But the distinction is cloudy and either way, jobseekers are unhappy.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is; if a search firm’s asking for that much money, do your research before writing the check.

Gig Of The Day: Freelance Artists Wanted

We don’t feature too many jobs for artists and designers on this site, so here’s an attempt to rectify it with a “Help Wanted” ad for a site that makes just gorgeous stuff.

A la Carte Maps sells hand-drawn maps of tourist destinations with locals’ tips for where to go and what to see once you get there.

a la carte maps

The company’s currently looking for freelance artists to expand their roster of cities.

The company told us that they’re pretty flexible on what they’re seeking:

  • all design styles welcome
  • can work wherever, whenever and however they wish to… as long as they meet our deadlines
  • must be 100% reliable
  • must have their own computer & internet access/phone
  • must be able to communicate comfortably in (spoken + written) english
  • must be able to work with InDesign, Photoshop & Illustrator CS4 (or at least CS3)
  • we look for people that are passionate about what they do. people that strive for excellence. people that are flexible and willing to go the extra mile
  • humor & love for traveling = plus!

Interested artists should send a portfolio and application to jobs(at)alacartemaps(dot)com.

Hey, It’s Friday…Have Some Journalism Fails

Probably Bad News is the Failblog for the news industry.

Some recent highlights:

probably bad news
Inappropriate banner ad
probably bad news
Why we shouldn’t fire the copy desk
probably bad news
Underpaid web producers’ revenge?

Better Know A Media Org: ASME

We’ve compiled as many professional organizations as we can find in all the disciplines that mediabistro visitors work in, and will be featuring one a day til we run out. We’re going in alphabetical order so nobody feels slighted, but if we skipped your favorite group by mistake, please let us know.
asme-logo.gifToday: American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME)

About the organization:

The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) is a non-profit professional organization for editors of print and online magazines which are edited, published and distributed in the U.S.  Among other things, ASME works to preserve editorial independence and speaks out on public policy issues, particularly those pertaining to the First Amendment.

Number of members: 850

To join, you must:
“”Regular Members are senior level editors, photography editors and art directors of qualified print and online magazines.  Qualified print magazines are defined as magazines that are edited, published and distributed in the U.S. at least four times a year.  Editors of company publications and newsletters are not eligible.  Qualified online magazines are defined as Internet sites whose primary function is to inform or entertain rather than to sell products or promote a business (i.e., online stores and advertiser sites are not eligible).  If the site is part of a large corporate site or portal, the editorial component must be clearly delineated.  An online editor is defined as an editor, designer or producer who makes key creative decisions about the content, tone and point of view of a Web site. 
ASME NEXT Members are junior level editorial staff members with up to five years of editorial experience. NEXT members are non-voting members of ASME.”

You’ll get:
The National Magazine Awards
An internship matching program
Career workshops

And for that, you’ll pay:
Regular – $395 annually
ASME NEXT – $185 annually

From A Reader: ‘It’s Tough Living Here With Mom’

EDIT: Well, we’re idiots. Stacey Warde is a man, and that’ll teach us to assume anything based on common gender distributions of names from now on.

Reader Stacey Warde directed us to his blog a while back, and we’ve been following it since then. Today he posted something stark. It kinda made us want to give up on the bloggy snark for a while, even.

51-year-old Warde’s been looking for a job and learning about the oceanic qualities of the Internet. (It’s huge, it’s always changing, and if you’re not careful it can kill you.)

He writes about her search:

So far, I’ve received only job spams, emails claiming that openings exist for work at home, part-time gigs, no money down, no cold calls. All I gotta do is send some personal data to get started.

I’ve reviewed my resume a few times more, tweaked it here and there, and tossed it back out into the wide-open space of the Web, a frontier that remains as foreign and new to me as civility in discourse is to the young who seem to have already conquered it.

Still, I’ve had no action. It could be the simple fact that my resume sucks. I don’t know html or how to use the tools that make the digital world effective. At 51, I’m a generational handicap, a displaced worker, a digital illiterate.

It’s tough living here with mom, much as I love her, without a reliable income. I start feeling bad and tell her that I don’t want to be a burden. There’s at least a little bit of work at home, I tell her, planting blueberries and working on the farm more than four hours away, but I want to help as much as possible, I add, and be a reliable (and hopefully comforting) presence as she completes her radiation treatments. She hands me a $20 bill. I feel pathetic.

As print slowly fades, and digital gets brighter by the day, I don’t know what else to do but put up what I can online, say three “Hail Mary’s,” and cross myself. I’m not even Catholic. That’s just how it feels to put myself out into the wide, unknown world of the web. When I post online, it’s like a prayer, “God, I hope this works.”

Man, we just wanna hug you, Stacey. Thank you for reminding us that the recession isn’t just a bunch of faceless statistics. And we’ll teach you HTML if you want. Really.

New Yorker Hires 26-Year-Old Managing Editor

26-year-old Amelia Lester is joining the New Yorker as managing editor, the New York Observer reports.

Lester was previously an editor at the Paris Review and also previously served as a fact-checker at…the New Yorker.

The Harvard grad’s replacing Kate Julian, who is moving with her husband (who just got a new job) to Washington, D.C.

So…we didn’t graduate from Harvard, but we’re almost 26. Does that mean we can work for the New Yorker too? Pretty please, Remnick?

Awful Video Resumes | Editorial Salaries Slump | More Links for 8-27-09

WPP Chief Exec: Ad Industry Is ‘Going To Be In Russia, India, China, Vietnam … And Digital’

wpp_logo.gifWPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell says that the ad industry will never be the same.

While most ad execs are in agreement that the worst is over, nobody knows when things will really bounce back. Clients have gotten used to paying less, reports the Wall Street Journal, and the pressure is still on to keep prices low.

“There is no one in the industry whose clients haven’t said, ‘We are under pressure, so you have to cut fees,”‘ David Sable, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Wunderman, a direct-marketing firm owned by WPP, said recently. Some marketers have even slashed prices retroactively, meaning that they’re getting paid less for work they already completed.

Yesterday WPP reported a 48% drop in first-half profit to $177.3 million.

The Top Ten Job Tweeters?

Careerbuilder’s put together a list of ten Twitterers good to follow for job-seeking advice, but we don’t buy it.

Here’s the first half of their list and our thoughts:

“About the author: Adrienne Waldo, a New York-based writer, consultant and blogger, made a name for herself when she began blogging about Generation Y.
Why you should follow her: Waldo, a Generation Y-er herself, offers advice as someone who’s in the same shoes as many of her equally young Twitter followers, but she also uses her experience to let followers know what employers are thinking.”
But we found: Links to cool things, questions about her business…basically, your typical lifestream.

“About the author: Alison Doyle regularly writes articles on job-seeking issues, ranging from interview advice to using social media appropriately.
Why you should follow her: She’s prolific, so you always have something to read, and she knows her stuff.”
We found: She doesn’t just promote her own stuff, and the first four links we clicked on were pretty useful. A keeper for job-seekers.

“About the author: Anita Bruzzese is the author of “45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy” and also writes a workplace blog full of tips and advice for employees.
Why you should follow her: She lets you know when she’s updated her blog, which is full of helpful advice. She also shares quirky, sometimes off-topic links that lighten the day’s mood.”
But we found: Off-topic links (granted, we should have seen that coming) and if we wanted to know when she updated her blog, we’d subscribe via RSS.

“About the authors: founder J.T. O’Donnell and a group of job experts let you know when they’ve posted new advice for job seekers. They also respond to job seekers with career questions — in 140 characters or less, of course.
Why you should follow them: As a follower, you get to read advice from several experts who know what they’re talking about and give their own perspectives.”
We found: Lots of advice; plus, if you follow them, you can ask your own question. They answer two a day, Monday through Friday.

“About the author: Eve Tahmincioglu blogs, publishes articles and Tweets on career issues.
Why you should follow her: Her advice is excellent and she often brings up issues you might not have otherwise considered.”
We found: She has a weird habit of rhyming all her Tweets, which is offputting, but the advice is good.

You get the idea; Careerbuilder’s list is about 50% useful and 50% padding, we’d say.

What career-advice Twitterers do you follow?

Jobs Of The Day: Armenian Alternative Media Expert, Science Experts, Martha Stewart

Alternative Media Expert needed at an NGO in Armenia – yes, really. You should have five years experience in international development as well as skills in civil society, new media, journalism education, media development, or integrated multi-platform technologies.

If you speak Russian or Armenian, that’s a bonus.

The journal Cell is looking for an assistant editor. You should have a PhD in the biological sciences and a flair for using the English language (which eliminates a lot of candidates right off the bat, but someone’s gotta be out there who fits this mold). (hey, that’s us!) is seeking an Online Ad Trafficker. You’ll be joining a “small but rapidly growing team” and managing online ad campaigns.

Interval International, a vacation exchange network, is seeking an editorial assistant to proofread and fact-check brochures, Web copy, advertisements, etc. Some copywriting responsibilities, too. They want three years experience in a publishing environment.

Oh, and it looks like Martha Stewart Omnimedia is beefing up staff.