Red Flags to Watch Out for When Applying for a Job

Searching for a new job can be a long and difficult process. You first need to update your resume, which can be challenging if you haven’t looked at it in some time or created one at all. When that’s done, it’s time to start the search process, which usually begins by visiting online job boards. Then comes the process of looking through dozens of ads, applying for opportunities you are drawn to, all the while hoping you hear back from at least a couple of your favorite potential positions.

You are going to see many job advertisements throughout this process, so to save you time and frustration it’s important to watch out for any red flags in the postings you come across. Due to the boost in virtual work environments over the last year, there’s been an increase in “shell” job postings. Some of these fake positions are obvious, but others can be much more subtle. There is also the risk that you’ll accept a position at a company that doesn’t treat their employees well. When you come across a posting that makes you think twice before applying, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does it seem too good to be true?
  • Can you research the company and its management online?
  • Is the job description too vague to know what you’d be doing in the role?

The job search process can be difficult enough without needing to worry about falling into a scam or accepting a position at a less-than-ideal company. Here’s more information on how you can search for a credible job at a reputable company.

Make sure the company is real.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who love to scam people for private information and money – even on job boards. If you see a job posting that makes you think twice about applying, search for the company on other sites like Google, Facebook or LinkedIn. If you don’t find any credible social accounts, or even a company website, this could be an indicator that the job isn’t real.

Also make sure that the job posting itself gives you all the information you need to contact the person in charge of hiring. Is there a phone number, email address or a name to follow up with? These things aren’t a deal breaker, but it’s another way to ensure the post is authentic.

The job description is vague.

The point of a job posting is to describe the job a company is looking to fill. If you don’t know what you’d be doing after reading the description in the ad, it’s most likely not the right job for you. You have value as an employee and deserve to know upfront the expectations of the role and how your talents can benefit that company.

When you are looking into a new job, make sure the posting describes in detail what skills and experience you need, as well as the duties you’ll be expected to complete.  Also watch out for “sensational content” like too many exclamation points, fragmented sentences or incoherent phrases. These are all indicators of either a scam or a mismanaged company.

The salary is too high.

Obviously, one of the goals for getting a decent job is to be paid a fair salary. However, when you’re on the lookout for fake jobs, an incredibly high salary is a major red flag. Like they always say… if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

In addition to a high salary, be careful about what information you give when going through the application process. You should never need to give financial information before you even get the job. If a potential employer is asking you to pay upfront for any reason at all, you should be extremely suspicious. Likewise, if you are partnering with a staffing agency to help you in your search, you should never be asked to pay anything to use their services.

Looking for a legitimate job and want to skip all the hassle? Contact The Reserves Network for help or visit our job board to see the latest opportunities we have available in your area! Our experienced and reputable recruiters only partner with the best employers to ensure our employees get an authentic, decent, and fulfilling job. Subscribe to our blog for more job search advice.

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