I am a currently unemployed IT manager who recently applied to a job on Boston.com. Out of the blue -- and about two minutes after I hit submit -- I got an email for a "career evaluation". I'm usually entertained by such things, so I followed it. The evaluation consisted of asking me a couple questions about my current position -- Do you have a plan for the future? Other such useless things -- and then directing me to a page with a wealth of known information (useless again, in other words). I then received a phone call from someone a few days later who wanted to set me up to meet the VP. While on the phone, I asked at least three times what the company does, and was given no real answer... Took the meeting to see what it was all about.
Headed into their offices in Boston. It looked eerily familiar to me.
* On a side note here, I have never been "taken" by an employment agency, but I have been playing with local rock bands since I was 13. There are a ton of "entertainment management" companies in this area of town. All of them scams. It took me about 5 years to learn that if someone professional is interested in your music, you should not have to pay them up front. I believe the same holds true for job searches as well. Every office that I have ever been to in this part of town looks exactly as BHA did. A kind of pseudo fancy professional setting. Like trying to get the Ethan Allen look from the Pottery Barn. *
I was supposed to meet with a woman, but when I showed up I was informed that I would be meeting with a man who was also a VP. They gave me a book of their VP's -- there must of been 100 of them -- and I read about how he had been a great sales person and marketer for Pastene for 25 years.
I met with him and he was very nice. Told me that I had skills that provided "immediate value" to companies, etc.
At the end of an hour, he told me that I should bring my wife in so that she can provide him with insight that employers and co-workers could not, and that there was also going to be a small payment if we worked together (not sure which of the last two words should go in quotes).
Anyway, I left with a bad feeling of deja vu -- like I was twenty years old again, talking with a "real" entertainment "manager". He set up a meeting for me to come back, but I had heard enough. The first thing I did after leaving the office, was head home and look for info on this company. I knew that I would find something like this site.
The only advice that I can give anyone reading this is that if you feel that your resume is not up to par, ask your friends to look at it -- or maybe any managers from companies that you used to work at. Books on resume writing and career development abound and they shouldn't cost more than about $30. And, lastly, if someone is interested in your talent or skillset, they will not ask you to pay them so that they can sell it. Companies gladly pay placement agencies up to 75% of your annual salary if they hire you. I don't want to put all career development companies into the same bucket as BHA, as I am sure that there are some good ones, but do the research before handing over any money to these companies. They need to end the year in the black just like any other company does and most of them will go to great lengths to achieve that.
If I hear from BHA any further, I will post here.