How to Get a Legitimate Job Part II: How to Avoid Shyster Employment Ads

If you’ve been following along with our blog, you know that last week, I posted a nightmare of a story involving my very shady interview with a company that turned out to be no more than a pyramid scheme. Today, I want to make sure you, our readers, are equipped to avoid scam jobs while online job hunting.

Below you’ll find tips on what to; look for, avoid, or ask yourself. Let’s begin:

Tip #1: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Does the job posting advertise a pay rate abnormally high for the position, monthly vacations, an excess of incentives, etc.?  All those things combined in a job posting is a red flag. Think, why are they trying to draw you in this way?

Tip #2: Look for a “put together,” website.

  • Does the website have “About us” info?
  • Does the website have web pages about the products/services offered?
  • Does the website have contact information?
  • Where is the website hosted?
    • Keep in mind, most companies will take that extra step to get their own domain. If not, sites powered on Squarespace or Shopify tend to be reputable. Sites hosted on Wix? Not so much.

Tip #3: “Cross examine,” multiple job-hunting websites.

  • Is the company’s contact information the same?
  • Are the job postings the same or similar?
  • Can you find employees on social media sites (such as LinkedIn)?
    • If you can’t find employees on social media sites – run!
  • Does the company have multiple reviews on sites such as Glassdoor & Indeed?
    • Hint- It should. Most people review these employers on those sites. Reviews show that people have actually worked for the employer. Even if the company is small, chances are SOMEBODY has reviewed it. If you can’t find reviews on Glassdoor & Indeed, look for general reviews on our friend, Google.

Tip #4: Pay attention to the job posting

  • Is it detailed?
  • Is it largely without errors?
  • Does it mention EEOC & EEO?
    • EEOC stands for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This is the federal agency that enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination.  It is mandated that companies follow these laws. If the job doesn’t advertise that it is an Equal Opportunity Employer, then they either 1.) Aren’t aware of the above or 2.) Don’t care about the above. Any legitimate job will mention being an Equal Opportunity Employer.
  • Do the qualifications asked for make sense for the job duties?
    • For example, if the job requires a Master’s degree for entry level work? Skip it.

And if you decide to interview-

Tip #5: Observe your surroundings/Ask questions.

  • Does the location make sense for the business?
    • For example, a company relying on tech isn’t going to be in a rural area without the proper towers, etc.
  • Are there other people working?
    • Even during the pandemic, if a company has a building, there will be someone there – even if it’s just for upkeep.
  • Where is HR?
    • No reputable company will forego an HR department.
  • Listen to your gut.
    • Look out for your own well-being during the interview. If you have safety concerns, speak up. In my situation, I shouldn’t have gotten into the car with my interviewer to go to another location.
  • Always have questions prepared.
    • The interviewer should be knowledgeable about the company.  If they can’t answer your questions, that is a red flag.

If I could go back and use the tips above when I was searching for jobs at that time, I would. It would’ve prevented me from wasting my time applying and interviewing for jobs that weren’t legit.

So readers, has this experience ever happened to you? How do you make sure a job is legitimate while on the hunt? Make sure to comment below! Also, don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube!

Until next time,

– Brandi

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