Upon graduating from college, I was very excited to start my career. I had my resume posted all over the internet and was scouring job boards, ready for the perfect opportunity.
As the days turned into weeks, and then into months, I started feeling the pressure to find a job. I was soon contacted by a company who said they were very impressed with my resume and thought my skill set would be perfect for their open "advertising/marketing" position. They wanted me to come in the following day for an interview. I had not remembered applying for this job, but wasn't about to turn down an opportunity.
The interview was very short, and the description of the job was vague. I was asked to come in for a full-day interview the next morning. As soon as I got home, I looked up the company on the internet and found some very unflattering things about them online. The word "scam" came up a few too many times for my liking. I called the company and politley let them know that this was not the right opprotunity for me.
There are many types of employment scams, ranging from misleading postings for pyramid schemes to identity theft and fraud. I was lucky enough to do some research before I fell into one. Here are a few tips to protect yourself from some such scams when conducting your job search.
- Check the Website. If you have never heard of a company, visit their website. Here you should be able to find their contact information, including any physical addresses, phone numbers and emails. If the company does not have a website, or if the website does not have any contact information, that can be a red flag.
- Be Wary of Unsolicited Emails. Keep track of all the jobs you have applied for. If you receive an email from a sender you are not familiar with, it is best to delete it. If you do open the email, be very hesitant about clicking on links.
- Don't Apply to Blind or Vague Ads. Any reputable company will list their contact information and a job description.
- Protect Your Information. Many scams will ask you for personal information, including your Social Security Number and banking account information. A reputable company will never ask for this information pre-hiring.
- Too Good to be True. Working from home and making $1,000 a week sounds incredible, but it is probably not true. If it were, I'd be on my couch right now.
- Work With a Recruiter. A recruiter will provide you with legitimate job opportunities that fit your skills.
When you are unemployed and in need of a job, it is hard to turn down any opportunity. By following these tips you will be able to sort through the scams and focus on finding a great fit for you.