3 Reasons I'm Sorry I Joined Doostang . . .

Too Secret for Me

You must guess how hard I tried not to write this. I sat down, turned around, wrote several emails, found their blog and asked for help. . . . But I also think bad practice is bad practice and bad service is bad service. I don’t want any more of my friends asking their friends to get involved with a service that seems only to serve itself.

It all starts with an invitation that reads something like this . . .

I’ve requested to add you as a friend on Doostang, an invite-only career community started at Harvard, Stanford, and MIT. You can use Doostang to find a job or internship, network, and access valuable career information from peers and industry professionals.

Who wouldn’t be curious about something like that?

3 Reasons I’m Sorry I Joined Doostang

Harvard, Stanford, and MIT . . . pretty enticing. Some great things have some out of those schools. Some folks who have gotten nowhere have also started in exactly the same places. But most folks who go there are smart in some way — eh?

Inside Doostang are networking opportunities and job listings — some are open to all; many are open only to members of certain “professional groups.” There in lies the rub. To be considered for membership in one of those groups, a member must

  • complete a profile
  • enroll 20 new members in Doostang
  • AND request to join.

Note: The new member cannot see much more than the group’s name. There may be a slight description, but you’ll find no qualifications for membership, no viewable list of members, no sample of jobs that they’re hiding behind their membership.

The invitation above touts the core value they offer, but the rules are that you deliver your value to them before they deliver that core value to you — if they do.

Who’s serving who?

Reason 1 — Secret Meetings

I invited 20 of my friends who joined. Then I applied to four “professional” groups — two I cared about. I was rejected from all four of them. What appeared was single sentence that stated simply your application was rejected — no details were given. No sender is anonymous. The qualifications needed are stated nowhere. There was an invitation to contest it.

I went to the forum to check that out. There I found a thread which said that nearly everyone gets rejected from every group! The information came from a Doostang team member, stating that each group decides who will fit the qualifications of the jobs they offer. I visualized a secret meeting in a secret room. I would quote what I read and link to it, but I can’t (see reason three.)

Reason 2 — Secret Club

I took up the offer to reapply to two groups, pointing out my experience in the given areas. I was accepted. The jobs weren’t as exciting as one might expect.
Many of the job listings use that phrase “top-tier school” as a qualification. Guess that would exclude Truman Capote, Bill Gates, and Matt Mullenweg, all of whom left that path to make their own success.

Unfortunately, some highly qualified friends with deep educational credentials and visibly successful careers did not have the same reapplication success. My friends feel “taken” because they shared their high level contacts only to be treated this way.

Perhaps being rejected was more of an honor than getting in?

Reason 3 — Secret Locks on the Door

While there. I wrote roughly 3 emails asking to start a conversation about consulting possibilities regarding jobs that were offered. When I got no response from all three. I decided to sit back to watch how things worked. I watched for what seems a month.

About 4 weeks ago, I was greeted with this screen.


I waited two days thinking it was a cookie or cache issue or software issue at their end. Nothing. Then I wrote to one of the founders, an address I had from helping a friend with an earlier issue.
I said . . .

Hi Mareza,
For two days now and no apparent reason, Doostang no longer recognizes me.
My user name and password don’t work and my email is not recognized.

I find this a serious problem. Can you help me resolve it?


After sending it a second time, I got this reply:

HI Liz,

Forwarded it along thanks. Not much more I can do from here.


I wrote a comment on this post at the Doostang blog on February 28th — it’s still in moderation. You can see it there.

Nothing’s changed.
UPDATE: ONE THING HAS CHANGED. They took down the post on which I commented. Someone from Doostang also visited my Linked in profile. Still no one attempted to contact me about this matter.

They have my contacts. I apologize to my friends to whom I sent invitations. I hope that your experience is better than mine.

Harvard, Standford, MIT . . . top tier on the Internet?
UPDATE dated April 02, 2012: Please read read the blog post Doostang Today: An Apology – Better Late Than Never written by me and Jeff Berger, CEO of Doostang, which was acquired and reorganized last summer.


  1. says

    that SAME thing happened to me! i was invited, joined, invited my friends and then one day my log-in didn’t work!

    i sent an email, as you did, BUT i never even got a reponse. wow. how sad for them…

  2. Kyle says

    The same thing has happened to me, and funny, it was right after I accidentally invited my whole gmail contact list. I also sent along an email to the help@doostang.com address, but having read this, I don’t expect much in return.

    Time to start sending apologies…

    Thanks for sharing your experience with them.

  3. marie says

    the EXACT same thing happened to me. i thought, wow this is so great and interesting and then i realized, i was never going to get invited to one of the secret groups and then one day my log in stopped working and no one ever replied to my emails.

    i don’t even know if doostang is working for themselves if they start barring their contacts from the site. how can we post our lucrative jobs then?

  4. says

    Hi Kyle and Marie,
    Thank you both for sharing your experience. I’d love it if more folks would do that. Your comments don’t surprise me.

    Within a day of this post, someone from Doostang had the time to check my LinkedIn profile, but not to correspond with me.

    Isn’t that interesting?

  5. Terry says

    Thanks for the heads up on this! I just got invited to participate from a high level contact and found your blog on Google. I get tired of getting these types of requests, particularly when they are so self serving. You’ve saved me the trouble of checking it out further. After reading your post, I will not be joining Doostang (what a dumb name).

  6. says

    Thanks so much for the info, I got one of these invites and was considering putting a lot of effort into it.

    Keep up the good work, I’ll stay far away from this site.


  7. says

    I received an invitation from someone I do not know to join and decided to google Doostang as I was intriqued by the reference to Harvard, Stanford, MIT.

    Thank you for posting this blog it helped me make a decision to delete the emailed invite.


  8. says

    Terry, Dave, Tom,
    I’m glad that this helped. Three of my friends feel they were really burned and that they put their contacts up “for sale” to no real purpose.

  9. Vijay says

    They are pathetic and real bunch of losers. It happened to me also. Doostang had its days before. Now its just for a bunch of wannabes and no useful talks happening there.

  10. says

    It seems that they are trying to work a specific niche. Their web site and their Facebook page say:


    Our members are ambitious, talented, and well-connected. It’s no wonder that they prefer Doostang over other resources to help build meaningful professional connections.

    Who’s on Doostang?
    -Students and graduates of top U.S. universities and MBA programs
    -Ages 20-35
    -0 to 6 years of industry experience


    If the behavior reported by others above is true, Doostang begins to sound more like a clique.

    I wonder if there’s an apt comparison of Doostang to a “hot new club” — with plenty of people wanting admission, but only those acceptable to the “gatekeepers” are allowed past the velvet rope. The difference seems to be that those who want to stand in line (hoping to get in, but not knowing if they’ll be “chosen”) also have to “pay” upfront with their contact list for the privilege…

    Give me LinkedIn and XING any day. I’m not into clubbing. :)

  11. says

    Hi Ruth!
    Thank you for this apt description. I still notice that no one from Doostang has managed to join this discussion, though I’ve noticed some lurking attendance. Hmmm. Wonder what that means?

    I’m with you. I’ll take LinkedIn and Xing any day.

  12. says

    Doostang brings spam to your email!

    The email address you sign up with is displayed on your profile and there is no option in the privacy settings to hide it. As I always do, I set up a unique email address to sign up for Doostang (as explained on BustSpammers.com). That email isn’t used anywhere else. I now receive spam to that address, today for example I was urged to “Stuff her with a mightier man meat, and give her all the joy and love.” Grrreat!

    Obviously, they have scrapers on their “exclusive” network who have nothing else to do but harvest member emails for spam.

  13. says

    Hi Steven!
    Thanks for the information. It’s looking like Doostang doesn’t care much about their reputation. As of today, more than 9% of my search traffic hits this particular post.

  14. C. Lark says

    Is there any way for you, a newby to their group to start your own group on the site? If the tools are useful, it might be worth exploring , otherwise no way. LinkedIn is good, but is lacking in some tools to – like a way to invite contacts to a group event – Linked in members are resorting to using evites and the like to set up a sponsored regional group meeting.

    but thanks for this valuable post, and the corroboration form others. A client of mine just received an e-mail to join yesterday, and asked me to look into it. I will be wary in approaching it. Thanks especially to the note about SPAM, as he already gets too much.

  15. Keith says

    People, this is just a scam to create qualified email lists to sell to spammers !!

    Nothing more! Nothing less!

  16. says

    A week or so ago I received my coveted invitation to join Doostang from the instructor of an AIRS class I had taken. I signed up using their handy “upload your LinkedIn profile” feature and shot off invitations to my LinkedIn network. I received an email back from from a twitter buddy @BarbaraKB saying I should check out your blog post and (stopping to bang my head against the wall) didn’t do that until today. While (in the interest of transparency) I filled out my profile with my personal/professional information I was most interested in accessing Doostang as an employer. Yesterday…for what seemed like endless tedious hours…I attempted to post about 15 jobs and…the horror began. Sidenote: about 25 of my friends (or as Doostang refers to them…suckers) had joined. Here are selected bits from my email correspondence (at least I can’t say that weren’t promptly responsive…in their own way.)

    Me – After spending a couple of hours posting jobs on Doostang (where every now and then the site would just decide to close half the jobs I just added so I would have to reopen each individually)I went to my profile and then tried to get back to the jobs I had posted. There appeared to be no record of the 16 jobs I’d posted and then I was bumped out of the site and kept getting an incorrect email/password message. I changed my password and while that seemed to take…when I did so it logged me out and then…wouldn’t let me back in, giving me the same error message!!

    Please help…this is extremely frustrating!!!

    Doostang – I have looked into this and it seems your account was blocked due to spam issues. Sometimes, when a user posts a very high number of jobs that are not relevant to our core demographic, the system tags the postings as spam and temporarily blocks the user. I have reactivated your account, but please keep in mind that we do not accept engineering/developer/programmer positions, and we ask that you review the job categories listed under “post jobs” to make sure your positions fit under at least one category.

    Me – Thanks for your prompt response and for ensuring that I had access to my account. I do see that all of the jobs I posted are now inactive. I’ll go ahead and reactivate them…again…and hope that the system will run smoothly.

    You asked that I keep in mind “we do not accept engineering/developer/programmer positions, and we ask that you review the job categories listed under “post jobs” to make sure your positions fit under at least one category.” Only one of the jobs I posted – a Senior Network Engineer – might possibly fall into the “engineering/developer/programmer” position type and nowhere in the information posted on the site (which I did of course read before posting) does it indicate that you do not accept that type of job. As to the categories I assume you are referring to the drop down list of Industries. All of our jobs fit into at least two categories – that of “Nonprofit, education, gov” as well as “Healthcare and biotech”. In addition I posted a job for an attorney for which I chose the category “Law” and a couple of Systems Anaylsts for which I chose “Technology”. I can see by your pie chart that almost half of your members fall under the Finance & Investment category…but it would follow then that over half do not and I see no explicit indication that the site is limited to those who fall into one particular category. This is, after all, 2008 and to believe that your members would not be interested in, and qualified for, careers in Healthcare and/or Technology seems a bit shortsighted.

    Me again – ARGGGGGGGGGGHHHH…so I reactivated all but two of the jobs deciding that the Network Engineer and the Cache Administrator were not spot on with your core demographic (although a quick look through the available jobs reveals a fair number of engineering and developer jobs in the 60 odd pages of the technology category as well as many in other categories as well) and now…another job has been mysteriously deactivated *AND* there are now multiple postings for a number of our positions.

    I would really like to be able to post jobs on Doostang. I certainly don’t want to redo posting the jobs – a process that was inordinately tedious. But…I certainly don’t want to leave things as they are as it now looks as if we’re the type of employer who can’t figure out how to get a job posted correctly. And while that is sadly true it is not due to lack of trying on our part.

    Doostang – Thanks for your message. We’re looking into the duplicate jobs issue.

    To respond to your previous email (and parts of this one), we allow developer/engineering positions within the financial services industry, as these are jobs that generally receive a large volume of replies. Anything beyond that likely slipped by, as we are a very small team and do not necessarily see every posting that goes up on the site. As for the other positions, you are welcome to keep them up. However, please note that even though these do fall under the “healthcare” category, a quick look through the other jobs in this section will give you an idea of the types of healthcare positions normally posted on Doostang. We are very sensitive towards maintaining a job board that is reflective of our users interests. The site is set up in such a way that whatever is posted most recently will appear at the top of the job board; going forward, I would therefore ask that you post your positions over a longer period of time (one position per day for 10 days, for example).

    Me – Thanks for getting on the duplicate postings issue. As to the rest…perhaps a few more tips for employers in the Hiring section as to what is and what isn’t appropriate (or what type of positions engender the most response) and specific instructions in how to get the best results with the posting system would not be amiss. I consider myself a reasonably savvy user of both job boards and social networks and this drove me to the brink…not that I had that far to go by this time in the week. Employers appreciate straight foward, easy to use systems and sites that clearly articulate their agendas. When I read “Doostang was created with one goal in mind: to successfully advance ambitious young professionals in their careers” I don’t think oh…except if those ambitious young professionals are software developers, or nurses, or systems analysts, or healthcare administrators. When you say “Hiring principals can post an unlimited number of jobs on Doostang” I don’t immediately think oh…but not in a way that’s actually convenient for me. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being exclusive…if that gets your constituency what it needs…but communicating that clearly saves all of us from wasting our time.

    Liz – do you have a copy of your apology letter I could borrow?


  17. says

    I don’t usually fall for this sort of thing… How I wish I’d read your post BEFORE signing in.

    It spammed ALL of my GMail & LinkedIn contacts – which I wasn’t aware of until suddenly I started getting asked about it last night.

    So I went to sign in TODAY and had the same experiences of “password doesn’t work” – changing password and it STILL doesn’t work.


    I don’t spam my friends – but several have already fallen for it. Fortunately, I used one of my secondary email addresses for it… but still…

    I wouldn’t have ever signed up except the invite came from an old friend on linked-in.

    We need to get the word out about these guys.

  18. says

    Hi Ann,
    I hope you’ll pick up your comment here and make it into a blog post on your own blog. . . . Google needs more posts about what’s going on over there.

    Thank you for the confirmation of what we’re all thinking. I’ve sent you an email.

  19. says

    Hi GeekMommy!
    I’ve been planning another post about this because of the comments here. I hope folks who have the same experience post about it too. It’s the best way we have of getting the word out to other folks.

  20. says

    Hi Liz,

    I guess this is the push I need to get busy with a blog of my own 😉 I did tweet it and may retweet… Did you send me an email? if so…I didn’t get it…probably our overeager spam filter.

    I did get one last response from Doostang stating that the duplicate problem was fixed and “As for your other points, I very much appreciate the feedback, and you are right. At this time, certain policy matters are not stated as transparently as they should be, and currently, the website is not segmented in a way that encourages high volumes of postings over a short period of time. In response to this, we have just released a new job filter that should at least partially address this concern…”

    Not quite sure how a new job filter is going to help their elitist attitude or lack of response to the individual member.

  21. Beth says

    Thank you all so much for the info. I received the invitation this morning to join. Before responding to the e-mail, I searched Google to see if “Doonsdang” even existed, or what folks have said about it.
    Your comments have helped me to decide to not bother with their e-mail

  22. Randy says

    I search with Google BEFORE I responded to an invitation. And that is the end of that.

  23. says

    I’ve never heard of this until now, sounds like an email harvesting kind of thing, eh? I’m sorry you got hooked into it Liz…off to read your update on this today…

  24. Elizabeth says

    I was just getting ready to e-mail someone to ask them to invite me to join Doostang. I’m glad I did a google search and read this first. Thanks for writing this.

  25. Howard says

    “I wonder if there’s an apt comparison of Doostang to a “hot new club” — with plenty of people wanting admission, but only those acceptable to the “gatekeepers” are allowed past the velvet rope.”

    When faced with this dilemma, I think about Groucho Marx’s retort when faced with being barred from a club. Paraphrasing, I would never want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member. Why in the world would anyone need to join Doostang with so many other professional networking resources available?

  26. Masha says

    Update on doostang – I’ve had same same issues as many posting here! Was invited a year ago, invited my professional contacts, some signed up, some started getting “link expired” error msgs. I’ve never been able to log in again. Have had a long maddening auto exchange with changing my pw. Also emailed the founders – never heard back – I guess I am not “in” enough for them. Just tried again – interestingly enough my email is still there and is still active! Wish I knew how to DEACTIVATE and withdraw my info from these people.

    Anyhow, extremely frustrated – but they http://www.doostang.com/info/management_team don’t seem to care!

    I think I am going to email their board members leslie_mark@gsb.stanford.edu
    Michael Dearing at Institute of Design at Stanford (does not list his email)
    jason@shastaventures.com (assistant elena@shastaventures.com)
    arachleff@benchmark.com (assistant lleis@benchmark.com)

  27. Masha says

    UPDATE on my post:

    I just sent an email to Doostang’s Board members. Will keep posted if I hear any responses. I basically demanded to be removed from their database. I also emailed Wired editors urging them to write about Doostang. And I’ll be posting on asmallworld forum about this crazy business.

    Liz, thank you for this blog post, and providing a forum to capture complaints. I included the link to this post in my email to D’s board.

  28. Masha says

    UPDATE on Doostang:

    I recieved an email from Nat Chambers
    Doostang Community Relations – he confirmed that they’ll remove me from their database and was very apologetic! Sure, the only reason I got a response from him at all is because I wrote to ALL Doostang’s board members. Nothing from either of them, btw.

    Also, Wired mag MIGHT look into this and do a story on them.

  29. says

    I’ve been following this and I think you’re a real Internet pioneer. Bravo. You go!! I’m with you all of the way and if you need my help. Feel free to email me lizsun2 @ gmail.com.

  30. says

    Even more interesting is that they’ve never answered me even though they’ve been here and been to my LinkedIn profile to see who I am. Sad really.

    Good job at getting their attention. :)

  31. says

    Thanks so much for this! I just received a cryptic email about doostang from someone I’ve never heard of. It seemed like a pretty cool site but I don’t like to join weird things without a little assurance that it’s legit. Thanks for saving me the time and trouble!!!

  32. Mike says

    If you are a qualified individual (meaning you have great work experience and come from a top notch school, usually considered “most selective” by US News) you should have no problem getting accepted into your respective professional groups. This site does target “elite professionals” and that is the appeal for both recruiters and members including myself. I’ve found the quality of the job postings to be much better than sites like linkedin and definitly better than generic sites like jobster. If you do not quality, then most of the job postings probably are not for you anyways. I’m not saying this to sound like a snob, but I’m just making the point that Doostang is working as it should to weed out unqualified professionals. (e.g. if you graduated from some average school, you will not get into the investment banking field. People who went to the top tier school have worked harder and that’s why more opportunities are available to them. – not always though for the silver spoon kids.)

  33. says

    For a guy who has giggidygoo in your email address and no link to your name, I can’t possibly take a word you say seriously. You’re anonymous like the professional committees — one or two which accepted me. And the staff who pretends that the sight is something other than trolling people’s networks. The profiles you describe don’t need Doostang — the top companies find them.

  34. Masha says

    Mike, is the World Bank and UNIDO good enough for professional experience? And let me see…the command of three languages and a master’s degree… Evidently, not for Doostang nor someone like you.

    Bottom line, if Doostang only has the need for graduates from certain schools (let’s say 10 universities from around the world) – they should indicate that as part of the requirement of signing up. You know, like Facebook did back in the day?

    And anyhow, have you ever heard this interesting tidbit: 9 out of 10 geniuses in this world don’t even get a chance to learn to read let alone apply their minds to the common good. And investment bankers… the “smartest” bunch of us all, no doubt!

  35. Qwerty Qwer says

    It seems that now they are trying to charge job seekers to view some listings. Reprehensible douchebaggery. No one else does it.

  36. Mike says

    Liz, let me first say that obviously that was a fake email address. Why would I want to display my real contact information to some strangers over the internet? No sense of humor? Your last comment surprises me… but perhaps it goes to show why you may not be a candidate for the most selective jobs. Even if you’re a graduate from an Ivy League school, you will still need to compete for the good jobs out there because everyone else who go after these jobs have the similar credentials. Truly good jobs don’t ever “find” you. Top candidates will proactively seek out the top jobs and will maximize their chances by going through multiple channels.

    Masha – I can’t answer your question because I don’t know what type of jobs you are looking for but just by the information you presented, I would have to say no. The reasons being:
    1. simply naming an organization says nothing about the work you did and may signal the fact that you’re hiding behind a well known name like World Bank. You could have been some average accountant there? BTW, if you’re looking to obtain a top finance related job, World Bank is not very impressive.
    2. Everyone has a Masters degree these days. Where did you obtain it and what field is it in? Does it fit the role you’re looking for?

    Qwerty – I think they just added the “pay feature”. The site was down yesterday for “upgrades” so I’m assuming that’s what they changed. I agree this may backlash on them but ultimately, it is a business looking to generate profits. I wouldn’t pay but you have to give them credit for trying something new. Good jobs are tough to come under current economic stress, so why not charge a premium? You forget that every single one of these job/networking sites is a business with one goal: to generate profits! This is capitalism.

  37. Qwerty Qwer says

    Just go back to your cubicle at Douchestang. All other career sites charge the employer posting, recruiters/headhunters charge the employer, alumni sites are generally free, now Douchestang (in this market) wants to milk it both ways? FAIL, I sez, what a bunch of cockroaches.

  38. Masha says

    Mike, interesting that my name dropping rubbed you the wrong way – maybe you can understand that when you name drop it can rub people the wrong way too.

    And you did not answer my question: would it not make sense for D to simply indicate which credentials are required to join?

    And I have another question for your – how does it feel to see your fellow human beings in such a negative light? Every word you wrote here is steeped with an ill-disguised attempt of putting your audience down. In my experience, only those who are extremely insecure in their abilities do that. If you have confidence in yourself, you don’t need to tell people where you got your education from.

    Mike, you might be completely different in real life, but this persona that you’ve created for yourself here, well educated as it may, is extremely unpleasant.

  39. Natalie K says

    I am with Mike on this one. Got an offer, start to finish, at Goldman Sachs in New York for an investment banking job in THREE WEEKS. In this economy. Well worth the $25 a month membership.

    Liz, don’t you have anything better to do with your life?


  40. says

    Hi Natalie,
    I’m delighted you got placed with GS. Congratulations! They’re the best of the best. Which department are you in?

    I joined Doostang for the same reasons I’m on Linkded In. This post resulted from bad customer service and misuse of my network.

    I don’t understand the last sentence of your comment.

  41. AJ says

    Standford? MIT? Harvard? Guess what, lots of folks on LinkedIn are from the big three too. And from many other excellent schools and companies. Not sure why at all you’d want to divulge your info to yet another social networking tool.

  42. IBAnalyst says

    Natalie K:
    Please ask your boss at Douchestang to stop ordering you to post here. GS recruits on campus for its analyst and associate classes, and like most other banks, uses headhunters for lateral hires. Since they have fired several thousand people over the last few months, I find it hard to believe that you would be a lateral hire. If you are an incoming class hire, you would not need this site, as they recruit on campus (and in this market, they would not do any “non-core” schools like the TTT you probably went to). Please read up on how this whole recruiting thing works before spreading lies on the #1 Google result for doostang.

  43. Scott Whipple says

    Top school networking website, what BS. People from top schools network through their own alumni associations, which have their own sites. And how useful top schools are is debatable. For the last several years the USA has been run by graduates of Harvard and Yale, did you enjoy it?

  44. says

    Harvard grad here! Do yourself a favor and ignore the site. But, if you want to have some fun, go to Facebook and whenever you see the “rate the ad” section, simply give it a thumbs down and state –misleading.

    That’ll screw up their gear and of course, make them completely unmarketable which is their business model: get a list of names of uses and sell themselves. Old model, old thinking, old HBS (which is why I no longer hire HBS grads unless they have outstanding rec’s from people I respect).


  45. Travis says

    I found this blog post after seeing (but not clicking on…) a Facebook ad customized to name my “top-tier” alma mater — I’d already seen enough here and elsewhere and given the ad a thumbs down “offensive” on FB before reading Jack’s comment suggesting similar action.

  46. Arthur says

    I am at one of their targeted schools and would like to remark that this business deserves to fail. It does not take an MBA to realize that people are going to be disinclined to pay $140 p.a (!) to look at jobs when they can do so for free either on other websites or on their school’s recruiting board. This opportunistic pricing preys on naivety that should not exist – either in students at “top schools” or those that believe they are contenders for managing other people’s money/companies.

    Furthermore, I find it incredibly hard to believe that “prestigious” recruiters are going to be impressed by a candidate approaching them through this channel.

  47. John says

    I was somehow on doostang, but my gut is telling me it’s a bad idea. I just deleted my account. Then I googled doostang to see what others thought and found this thread. There’s something not right at doostang. I’m well connected on plaxo and linkedin. Those sites don’t behave like a virus.

  48. roy says

    Just got an invitation to doostang from someone I didn’t recognize. I had never heard of doostang. So…I googled. Your Blog came up second. Not a good sign. I am going to delete the invitation without accepting. Thanks for saving me the hassle.

  49. S says

    To make matters worst, every single job on their website is now premium. So you cannot browse any jobs without first upgrading out membership which means shelling out 40 bucks per month. It really is a trap and sucks big time!!!!

  50. Eric says

    My school (Wharton) just followed a lot of the top bschools to PAY to bring Doostang to all of its students. I had heard of it but did not know much about the service so I Googled it and saw this blog. I did not want to sign-up at first but I my roommate made me and I am glad I did. Doostang has the best jobs out of any service/website/recruiter. Take my word, I go to a top MBA program and went to Harvard for college and the jobs on Doostang are far superior in both quality and volume to either school.

    Doostang positions itself as having the best jobs for “over half a million elite graduates.” I think the company needs to do a better job positioning itself, but truth is that they really do have THE BEST jobs for graduates of Ivy schools.

    Don’t believe me??? Believe the administration at The University of Pennsylvania!


    Don’t believe UPenn??? Believe Business Week!


    Don’t believe Business Week??? Believe Accel-KKR!

    Doostang is great IF you are in their target market. If you are an elite graduate, do not get left behind

  51. Sourav Chatterjee says

    Thanks for the discussion here .. I just got an invite from an unknown person with an email id noreply@doostang.com .. why the heck can’t i correspond with someone who thinks it fit to send unsolicited mail? Linkedin , xing , etc are good enough !

  52. Marc says

    Thanks to google and the advice on this site, I now know Doostang is definitely not worth my time – or anyone else’s!

    DO NOT WANT!!!!!!!

  53. Rach says

    I wish I had read this blog and these comments about 30 mins ago – before I paid $40 for a Doostang premium membership. I did believe their job postings were pretty attractive, but I dont think I come under the Harvard/MIT bracket. Does this mean my $40 was a mistake?

    Yes, considering, the site went ‘down for maintenance’ when I was in the middle of writing to a future employer. Its been down for 30 mins already – what a bummer!

  54. Zorro says

    Eric– you are simply a spammer from Douche-stang like many others on this board trying to make it sound like is worth something. You make it sound like recruiters are too stupid to post for free on the career sites of the individual schools, and would gladly go with Douche-stang. Why pay Douche-stang to post your job when you can target EXACTLY the grads you want with the school’s job site?

    If you’re really a Wharton/Harvard alum, I’d suggest you apply for a full tuition refund + interest. Obviously, no educational benefits have accrued to you.

    And I strongly doubt any self-respecting real Wharton MBA would be posting on the internet trumpeting some partner of their career services office, especially with late-night infomercial lines like “Don’t believe me??? Believe the administration at The University of Pennsylvania!” and “if you are an elite graduate, do not get left behind”. Are you tech support in Mumbai?? Have you ever written anything coherent in your lifetime?

    You, buddy, are a poser like “Natalie K” above who claims to have gotten a job in “investment banking” at “Goldman Sachs” when it is obvious that he/she is clueless about how the process works.

    If Douche-stang was really worth anything, why is Wharton getting it for free? If it is so great, why are you linking to a press release from Douche-stang and not from Wharton?

  55. SherriB says

    I’m so glad that I found this site! It sounds like doo-stang has already stung! My utmost regards to all the sting victims.

  56. a says

    To Eric (March 12th, 2009 at 2:34 am
    Eric said)

    That was some mighty fine smelling horseshit. Next time, try not to make it so obvious that you work for doostang.

    For many of the reasons mentioned above, I don’t agree with the pay-to-view model, though it might be worth it if many of the “premium” jobs were doostang exclusively. I’ve seen too many premium doostang job postings on other job boards, like indeed.com


  57. Dee says

    Thats funny, like everyone on this blog the same thing happened to me with this website. However when my email log in stopped working I never bothered to send emails regarding the issue, I just figured it was a problem with the website. After it happening for soooo long I forgot about it intil 2 days ago I recieved an email from Doostang and thought how weird of them to contact me now after 6 months of no log ins from me. Well to make a long story short, they must be getting desperate cause I have not tried to log in for over 6 months now.
    From the sounds of everyones story this is no surprise to me, you all sound like smart people with the ability to excel in your careers and it is their loss.
    Thanks for the blog, it is people like you that help others….

  58. John says

    Eric sure likes to post a lot of
    Doo Stink supporting spam.

    The links he listed are broken.
    I don’t think Ivy League grads need
    to pay 40 per month to find decent jobs.

  59. JC says

    Doostang is a joke! Now they are just trying to be another Ladders.com. Watch while they crash and burn! At the end, claiming that you have all these elite people getting jobs at elite companies just to get 2nd and 3rd tier people excited enough to shell out money is bogus. It will eventually collapse. Having 2 or 3 people from great schools getting a job in investment banking or whatever does not make the site some elite conduit into the A list. Bullshit! I’ve got 4 grad degrees from top 5 schools and I only know 1 person who got an interview, not a job from the site. NOT WORTH THE MONEY! Use LinkedIN to network and you’ll get better results. Another stupid idea that gets funded just b/c the founder went Stanford. Lot’s of stupid ideas out here in Silicon Valley get funded because of that. Gee, I want to be an elite little Monster.com. Soooooo 1990’s!

  60. LawSuit says

    Great post! What I am surprised about – after seeing the Doostang site is that do not list any pricing details.

    This is certainly one for a lawsuit – being both a deceptive trade practice and fraudulent marketing.

  61. says

    I’m SO glad you wrote this. I just got an invitation and Googled it before joining only to find your post. Guess I’m deleting that invite!

  62. Karson says

    Hey, thanks for your hard work. I thought it was junk and was right.

    Glad I was able to google Doostang and read your blog.


  63. Ken says


    This may be a ploy to collect personal information of people and then use it for marketing purposes or even for fraudulent purposes. We never know. Be careful.

  64. says

    Doostang backwards is Gnatsood!!
    Well. That wasn’t as exciting as it looked. But still.

    Sorry to hear how so many people got their time wasted and their contacts mined.


  65. Liam says

    Hey guys.

    I was similarly non-plussed about the contacts portion — yeah, they’re trying to build a social network, but they were being too aggressive. They definitely had some technical issues.

    Currently recruiting for an associate job for my Company, though, and it sure is nice that it’s free to do so. Have gotten 20 applications in the last day, one very qualified, most just a poor fit, but it’s been a positive experience.

    Just thought I’d share.

  66. "Red" Foley says

    I saw a job posting for a marketing manager at Doostang. I had never heard of them, so I googled and found this. Don’t think I will be applying for that job!

    What was interesting about the job description is that they refer to their “continued growth and focus on the female consumer…” This is for eversave.com, a coupon website.

    Have these spammers gone and diversified their operations? They have a prominent ad for Wal-Mart, which hardly matches their purported image of being only for grads of Wharton, Hah-vid, etc. But what do I know, I didn’t go to no fancy-schmancy “ivory” league school or nuthin’!

  67. Simon says

    I’ve been blown away by what Doostang have done! I was sent a job listing that fitted my experience. After paying for the initial trial I made contact with a company that stated that the position was not what they had suggested. I’ve just found out that the trial period automatically renews into a premium subscription automatically which means that I have been charged for a subscription that was of no value and provided no requirement for a commitment before renewing the subscription. I also find it interesting that any negative web search has the top results directed to Doostang home therefore shielding the consumer from the truth about their fraudulent service.


  68. xman says

    Great posts about douchestink. I cannot believe they are running a business.

    We need to take this to business week, wired, etc…

    We need to do something here now.

  69. anonymous says

    Come on guys. In this economy and job market all of a sudden you start seeing those perfect positions available all coming from one place…
    This should raise a red flag. I almost got sucked into that myself but at the last moment I stopped everything that I was doing.
    If you cannot find alternative job postings on big name sites why should you trust some site that is asking you to provide your personal information to them?

  70. Natonildo says

    My greatest waste of $40! Doostang is a glorified scam. I tried it for one month; of the more than 50 jobs I applied for, only 5 companies view my resume. NONE got back to me. Meanwhile Efinancials & Hotjobs gave me a 1 to 5 hits. I do not think the recruiters even put the job on doostang, as most of them close the job within hours it was posted on DOOM-TANG. Please do not waste for hard earned money on this piece of crap, particularly in this recession.

  71. Roni says

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!! Here I am, seeking an internship, when I come across one that requires me to sign up with Doostang to continue. I sign up for free membership, but ended up not applying for the job. This was two days ago. I noticed today that I received two spam e-mails to my school account (an account that NEVER receives spam, thanks to our good IS department), and after thinking about it for a few seconds, made the connection to the Doostang service I just joined. I closed my account just minutes before coming across this Web site. I wish there was some way to expose these folks. I’ve learned my lesson, though. I’ll stick with the mainstream sites. Hopefully I will stop getting spammed!

  72. Steve says

    Thanks for posting this. A friend sent me one of their postings with the note – this is perfect for you!

    I clicked on the link and got to the Doostang site. Something didn’t look right. So, I googled, got here, and saved myself a big headache.

    If the founders are really from Stanford, Harvard, and MIT, those schools need to start working harder on their ethics classes!

  73. says

    Guys, Doostang is horrible…you should never ever pay for finding jobs. That is just crazy. Doostang is divided, you cannot join any forum. They are too many rules.

    I found this site that knows what is missing. It connects undergrad/grad students to Wall Street professionals. I give this site a year before it takes over Doostang


    Remember where you read this first…StreetRede.com is the next best thing.

  74. says

    If you really want to meet people and start connecting with people do not waste your time with Doostang. I made connection with three guys already from my alumni association and now one is getting a job interview. Applying for a job is great, but networking is great as well.

    This site I think just launch, but people are already seeing the direction and love it.

    StreetRede.com baby!

    Great website, can’t say enough….

  75. Joyce Mbaya says


    My name is Joyce Mbaya and I’m from Kenya. I got the invite for doostang on my work email this morning and decided to google first – I landed on your post and after reading your article I promptly deleted the invite! Thanks for the heads up

    For the record I believe we can use the reliable networking websites such as Linked In and Monster.com

  76. sunny says

    I don’t think “doostang” kind of networking is going to last for too long. One of the basic principles of networking is to connect more and try to build longer and strong chains. Read the book by networking king Keith Ferrazzi. There you will find numerous instances of people who believed in this clique relationship and they all faded in anonymity. One can’t become a leader by believing that their contacts are non-renewable commodity.

  77. Doostang Is A Scam says

    Doostang is a SCAM!!! I signed up for a one month service (and yes I read the fine print) and they continued to bill me each month after until I just caught it. Companies like this should be put out of business.

  78. says

    I got a doostang invite off wallstreetoasis… the jobs seem restricted to “premium” users. Unless these jobs are EXCLUSIVE to premium users, it seems like a scam to me.

  79. says

    My greatest waste of $40! Doostang is a glorified scam. I tried it for two months; of the more than 60 jobs I applied for, only 6 companies view my resume. NONE got back to me.

  80. Jim L says

    I didn’t send them any credit card information, but now I am worried about what damage they can still do. I have forwarded their information to the Attorney General’s office in my state who does have an active record of going after such people.

    After looking at their “management team” it seems that they are essentially a group of sales promoters. They need to be shut down.

  81. Tiff Moore says


    You, and everyone else on here, are doing a fine job of hurting your careers by not signing-up for Doostang. Yes, I am friends with the team over there. I wonder whether my comment will get deleted, like many other people who have had positive experiences with the company and have come here and written about these experiences.

    How can Doostang damage you? You said you didn’t give them your credit card info? Do you think they will come and hunt you down? For what?

    Enjoy your elephant dance with your Attorney General. Good luck in your career, looks like you need it!!


    • says

      You don’t know me well enough to know that I wouldn’t delete your comment just because you like the folks at Doostang. Actually I like some of them a lot, but I’ve not seen enough to take down this post.

      Doostang did damage me and my friends by taking our trust. That’s hard to earn back.

  82. Aly says

    It sounds like Doostang could be a scam site to collect information to create a database of graduates from certain schools. And each person gets the same response once they help add more names and emails to the database. You should make a formal complaint to the BBB and other consumer advocate groups. Here is the address the business is registered under: Doostang Headquarters
    410 Cambridge Ave., 2nd Floor
    Palo Alto, CA 94306
    The website is registered to:
    Registrar: TUCOWS INC.
    Whois Server: whois.tucows.com

    I would use caution when a website request you load it with 20 additional names/referrals.

    Good luck!

  83. Scott says

    I got the invitation for Doostang today. My first thought is what kinda of porno site is this linked to?? The name is beyond moronic. I hate letting spammers get off scott free, so I googled the name and found your blog. I had no intention of joining. What is that line–any exclusive club that would want me as a member isn’t a club I would want to join!! Anyway–keep up the blog. You are doing a great service for those who might otherwise have a braincramp and provide these LOSERS with their contact list.

  84. Anonymous says

    I have no idea how they got my email and why they keep sending me my password. So I keep marking their stupid emails as spam. Hopefully they will annoy enough people and shoot themselves in the foot.

  85. says

    you guys got this totally wrong.. it use to be a invitation “ONLY” site when it first started back in the days (2005 i believe).. now they are a totally different company and have a different prospective… you can also sign up for free and brows through their job listings and everything.. its 10x better than what it use to be because the company is under a new management and totally different style of thinking.. to me it seems like they started thinking outside the box.. some of my buddies have used doostang and got jobs through it.. its free to brows around so idk what seems to be the problem in looking around… thats how i found my job.. i was just browsing around and found something of my interest and applied.. before you know it things were rolling for me.. wish you all job seekers all the best..


  86. Kristen says

    I was considering joining when I came across your post here. I was definitely cautious when they asked me to pay. Thanks for the post, what a heads up!!

  87. Tracy says

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I ran across doostang this morning for the first time – probably as I hadn’t been job hunting diligently in in the last couple of years. I and two friends are in the search so we are all looking for ourselves and theothers as it seems others see us in a different (and sometimes less critical) light. Thankfully – and with much ribbing from co-workers and friends – I google any and everything that I’m not 100% certain about. I too have learned the hard way after inviting friends to ….. regardless. Thank you for the heads up!

  88. Keith says

    I fell for the $9.95 fee for two days’ access. As soon as I’d signed up, the main screen told me that, in order that my access not be disrupted, they would automatically charge my credit card for a $39.95 monthly fee unless I canceled before the end of the 2nd day. Unfortunately, the site didn’t include a cancellation link. Sending an email had no effect – the instructions on how to cancel weren’t correct. I’m waiting for a refund of the $39.95, which was indeed charged to my card, and less than 48 hours after I signed up.

  89. parth says

    wow !! thanks Liz for blogging this.
    are the jobs on doostang even real . i think they are fake, how come all lucrative jobs end up on doostang and no other website.
    Keith- thanks for sharing the exact experience. I was considering signing up for the 10$ trial, but not i won’t.

  90. JOHN says

    Has anybody actually ever gotten a JOB from this site–they seem to have very few leads–mostly dated on delivery– and Liz is right–they are very hard to communicate with–unlike over job sites–Like another member, I’d almost forgotten I joined this thing too–I just want them to get me a bloody job–I could give a tinker’s damm about harvard and what it produces–that is not a selling point Liz–Just look at what we have in the WHITE HOUSE

  91. Luke says

    I also had a poor experience with Doostang two years ago and stopped using after I basically accused the founders on the forum of being racist/classist (they didn’t allow people from developing countries to join). I don’t think the founders understand how un-American it is to exclude people.

    Heaven forbid that a member of the pseudo-elite have to work in an industry other than “finance/investment” where people actually produce things! Don’t they realize that their arrogance was responsible for the financial crisis?

    Being the first in your family to attend top school and have a high paying job does not make you any higher class than someone fresh off the boat.

    It takes time to develop the values that made our country great to begin with. Doostang is a classic example of people who have not fully assimilated core American values.

    FWIW, my family has been in this country for nearly 400 years and at various times has held positions of power (including president of the united states).

    It is sickening to see people in this country who have basically rejected fundamental American values and would prefer a kleptocracy run by Harvard, Stanford and MIT alums.

    • says

      Hi there! The Truth!
      Actually, if the truth is what you’re about that comment doesn’t reflect it. People who stand on the truth usually are willing to sign their name.
      And I’m many things, but I’m not particularly a bitch. Thanks for thinking of me though.

      I also note you stare your return email address is thetruth@doostang.com but Doostang.com has no address to match yours.
      Apparently the truth is a false email identity. You have an interesting relationship with the truth.

  92. Sara says

    Doostang is a scam! They steal my money! I bought prime memebership for last 6 month(from July 30th 2010 to Jan.30th 2011). Yesterday i just found out they automatcially renewed my prime membership at the end of Jan. 30th.2011 for next 6 months and charge me $149.

    They never sent me any notice or email to inform me of this until i found out by myself.

    I’ve got a job offer long time through other resources before my last membership term ended. i don’t need another 6 month. The key points is that I never wanted to buy another 6 months. They charge me money without my permission.

    The worst thing is their terrible customer service. They don’t provide any phone number. I contact Nat Chambers.His reply were slow and treat customer like crap. He refused to refund me money and refused to tell me their contact number either.

    I strongly felt been taken advantage of and cheated!

  93. vinay says

    My membership has been renewed without informing me and they have no cancellation link on the website to cancel within 48hrs or any Phone# can any one provide me with Doostang cancellation service contact no#

  94. Maria says

    My membership was also renewed without telling me and they charged me $190 without prior notice!!!! I emailed them, hopefully they will respond, I need a refund right away. I can’t believe they do not have one phone number where I can speak to someone about this.

  95. mazilen says

    Thanks for this post! I saw a listing on Fox News Boston website and decided to do some research since “Doostang” doesn’t bring to mind a professional company. It’s horrible to hear that you and many others have had bad experiences from the company, but hopefully all of you have recuperated and are now moving onward to better careers :). I know for a fact I will not try this site.

    Also, for those of you complaining about it being “unfair” to post negative comments about experiences, I don’t see it as unfair. Some people may have good experiences while others have bad ones. People are more likely to report bad ones than good ones, but if you had a good experience then comment on it and do so in a respectable manner. I can understand those who were ripped off being rather upset, but if you had a good experience then post your good experience and don’t stoop to name-calling or cursing. If no one believes you then it’s their problem because it means more jobs for the “qualified” people :).

  96. BettyN says

    Hi – I am so glad you are here! I’m looking for anew job after almost 18 years in the same field. I received an “invitation” but decided to check it out, first. Thank you for saving me time and frustration!

  97. Bo says

    As others have mentioned here, I was charged $150 on a recurring membership that was slipped into my original membership. When I complained within 24 hours of being charged another $150, I got a partial refund, then after complaining twice more, got a full refund, and now have been inexplicably charged on some other apparently recurring fee scheme by them.

    My question: are they meeting payroll by repeatedly billing customers without authorization? It is a ridiculous mess trying to get out of the doostang recurring fee gluepot. Even their customer service people seem to agree with this assertion.

  98. A. says

    I was planning to join. I saw some interesting job openings showing up in
    I am so glad I saw your comments.

  99. Penn Teller says

    Even though this post is a couple years old, I have had enough of a negative experience that I feel it is worthwhile to comment.

    Where I’m coming from:

    1. I work as an equity analyst at a hedge fund and do some recruiting work through Doostang (or rather, did do some recruiting work through doostang).

    2. I was a relatively early adopter as a user and was a member until about 4 months agp. when I joined, I was a consultant at Big 3 Consulting firm and therefore in their core demographic.

    3. I went to a target school and Business school (Amherst and HBS) and had few issues getting in and out of groups.

    As a job poster, the system is both cumbersome and poorly designed with bad customer service. You can post for free (unlike linkedin), but it’s nearly impossible to manage the process.

    We eventually quit because of one major event that made us significantly distrust the integrity of the posting system. I had posted an opening for an undergrad position on a campus career services website (we limit our resume review to about 8 schools due to capacity constraints…only three people in the firm). We ended up getting nearly 400 responses citing Doostang as the source of the posting, despite the fact that we had never posted it on Doostang. After talking with our contacts at career services, our eventual conclusion was that Doostang managed to gain access to a career services site of one of the schools and started ripping out postings to repost them on their own site. It soured us on ANY relationship with Doostang and we will not be working with them going forward as a result.

    Linkedin has proven to be a much more amenable partner, if only because you can limit your searches effectively by using groups (like the McKinsey consultants alumni group, etc.) and because you can reach out to interesting candidates directly (which has proven to be incredibly effective). The cost to post is relatively marginal to the cost we would incur if we brought the wrong candidate onboard.

    As a job searcher/member: Aside from the privacy issues (and they do some pretty invasive crap to your contact lists. I am still dealing with some of the fallout of spamming old clients), the job postings really sound good but I would be concerned over how many of them are actual positions. At my old consulting firm, we hired zero people into the consulting function from Doostang across the entire system during my three years there (I am 100% certain that that is true for the office I was based in and about 75% certain it was true across north America). From friends at other top tier consulting firms (as well as some banks), hiring from Doostang was a vanishingly small avenue for talent. The best way to get in the door was, in the following order, 1) on campus recruiting, 2) personal/alumni connections, 3) Linkedin. For a firm that claims exclusive access to “Top consulting firms and banks”, I find that pretty damning.

    As for Eric’s old assertion that Wharton paid for access…well, I don’t want to call him a liar, but I can’t imagine any top tier business school relying on Doostang for a career services function when their own networks are 1) substantially better and 2) significantly more incentivized to hire from campus. I also have a fiance who attends Wharton and haven’t heard it mentioned (which is not to say it doesn’t exist).

    The way that recruiting on b-school works is that companies are invited by career services to come to campus and make presentations and recruit students. It’s a long process with a lot of investment by both the school and the corporation but it gives the corporation a substantial amount of ability to tailor its message and recruiting practices to an individual school. Quality control is significantly higher and your “Quality candidate per resume ratio” is through the roof when doing it.

    A school like Wharton has that sort of brand recognition and quality where it makes sense to take the time to invest, so why they would resort to a potentially untested online solution is a mystery to me. Moreover, the reputational risk associated with partnering with someone like Doostang would be significant. It could be that Doostang is offered as a perk to Wharton students (much like a discount card to the local coffee shop would be). It’s a nice to have but nowhere near the core recruiting process.

    In short, my experience with Doostang has been pretty negative. I would not recommend it to anyone who hires, nor is looking to be hired.

    Linkedin on the other hand….

  100. says



  101. Kristen mulieri says

    can anyone tell me how to cancel my doostang account before it re news. I paid them for absolutely nothing when I joined and don’t wish to do it again. thanks

  102. satulysses says

    As Woody Allen once said, ” I’d never want to belong to a club that would accept me.” That’s the attitude to use when something is offered on the internet. The net is so full of scams you MUST use the old phrase, “caveat emptor” – let the buyer beware. In looking for a job, you MUST use this attitude. There are so many legit sites for job seekers, DON’T EVEN CONSIDER the ones you’ve never heard of before.

  103. Ben Levitan says

    Are these the same guys who have a job search site and a resume service called TopResume? I’ve been trying to get these guys to refund me for three months. They are worthless.

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