Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Avoid Fake Job Postings

Looking for a new job is stressful enough without wasting time chasing down jobs that are advertised, but do not actually exist.  Job seekers need to know that when they are looking for opportunities on-line, the job postings they see will fall into one of three categories:
  1. Real jobs and opportunities posted by real employers that need to be filled sooner rather than later
  2. Opportunities that are posted by those who are just ‘fishing’ for candidates who may not have any current jobs or opportunities for workers, but anticipate openings in the future
  3. Scammers
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people everywhere.  The on-line community is no different from any other community, so, it is important to be aware and cautious when looking for a job online via job boards and classified ads.
To avoid fake job postings to save yourself some time, money, sanity and identity avoid the following:

1.   Job postings that sound too good to be true.
The old adage that, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true” applies here. In the real world, any job or opportunity that carries a $100,000 salary requires commensurate skills and experience. Job posts stating “no skills or experience required,” especially when paired with a large salary, are likely scams. The same can be said of jobs that promise perfect hours, salary and benefits. If it truly were a perfect job, they would not need to advertise.

2.   Job postings that “smell fishy.”
Listen to your intuition, your gut, and your common sense when reviewing a job posting. “Fishy” postings may include one or more of the following elements:
  • An unspecified job title
  • Odd wording
  • Numerous misspellings and grammatical errors
  • A web address that asks you to enter your email in order to be redirected to the company website
  • A free email address such as Gmail or Yahoo
3.  Job postings that ask you to pay a fee.
Legitimate recruiters are paid by employers, not by potential job candidates. If a job posting requires you to pay a fee in order to submit a resume or move on to an interview, it is likely a scam. A requirement to pay for training materials or web-based training seminars should also raise a red flag. Legitimate companies will not require you to pay for your own training.

4.   Job postings that ask for your personal information.
Never disclose any personal information.  If you have not included the information on your résumé, do not provide the information when responding to a job posting.  Personal information such as your Social Insurance Number, banking information, and the names of your references, is only required AFTER the company has made the decision to hire you. Please be advised that only scammers will want immediate access to this information and their sole objective is to try to defraud you and/or your friends in some way.

Google is a job seeker’s best friend when it comes to searching for jobs on-line. If a company is listed in the job posting, Google it. If the name of a hiring manager is given in the job posting, Google it. If an email address has been provided, Google it. If a phone number is provided, Google it. If the company name, manager name, email or phone number is associated with a scam, you may find warnings posted online. If the job posting does not have any contact information associated with it, i.e. no company name or contact number,  as are many of the opportunities found on free job boards such as Craigslist, it is highly unlikely that the opportunity is legitimate.   
When you conduct your job search with caution and you will be better equipped to avoid the scams and frauds nestled among the legitimate postings. Always do your research!

Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at