Currently, I am looking for a permanent marketing role in the Los Angeles area and I thought I had seen everything. From wanting the rock star designer SEO guru who also happens to be a CPA for an unpaid internship to the ‘we’re just going to harvest your email address and sell it’ posts on Craigslist. I understand when wandering into this magical cesspool that I am going to have to wade through 90-95 posts to find a small handful to submit my resume to. But that is okay, it is the status quo on Craigslist. It is not the best outlet, far from it, but it is an outlet none the less.
Until I came across this posting by Wordever for a “Social Media Marketer”. Initially I noticed it was posted for interns – not exactly what I was looking for, but then I saw that in a month it could turn into a paid position. So I decided to burn couple seconds of my life and read the requirements for how to apply. Here they are:
So you are telling me I need to create 5 topics (or boards like on Pinterest) and then clip 50 articles (or pin like on Pinterest). After that I need to engage with the community on 10 clips. Finally, you want me to do the normal application process just to compete for an unpaid internship? If 100 people do this that would potentially give Wordever 5000 articles on their site, 500 comments, and 100 new accounts. That’s a pretty nice little head start and all for
free a posting cost of $25. [Updated to reflect the job posting cost in Los Angeles.]
Is this a really important process? I doubt it. I’m sure reviewing an applicants public social profiles like Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+ would suffice (especially for an internship that is unpaid initially). No, this is an important process for Wordever to grow their website “organically”.
Now I am not a labor expert, but I can use Google and I’m also pretty adept at researching. To quote the U.S. Department of Labor:
2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
But wait, they aren’t hired yet – so those rules, I would assume don’t apply (once again, I’m not an expert). So I continued on my search about Wordever to find that they had less than 500 tweets on Twitter, and just over 100 followers. It is safe to say they are a new company. Upon searching Wordever, I found the website, a lot of postings for the “longest word ever on YouTube”, and in digging deeper I found the following: limited coverage in news outlets, almost zero buzz for their beta product, and that they raised $30k in January 2012.
So I decided to check out the background of Wordever’s CEO and stumbled upon his deserted Google+ profile. His introduction sums up exactly why I saw what I saw on Craigslist.
That says it all, this is a new strategy to finding traffic. We already abuse interns in this country, why not take it a step further and try to abuse job seekers. It’s the American way.
It is understandable that while you job search, you will have to jump through some hoops; like writing custom cover letters for each listing, using awful application systems, and adjusting your resume to fit the role you are applying for. But this just sets the bar at an all time low, just to compete for a meager internship position that may possibly, if you are good enough, turn into an actual paying job. I did not link to Wordever on this page and I absolutely refuse to.