5 Job Listing Red Flags That Can Save You Time

Posted by in Career Advice

If you've been looking for a job for some time, you've probably already seen and applied for job listings that ended up being either a scam or a recruiter for some type of pyramid scheme. Just to be clear, I'm not saying that all of those opportunities are fraudulent, but when you're looking for a full time position, responding to these types of ads are a waste of time.

So, how can you tell if a job listing is actually for a job that you want? Unfortunately, there isn't a clear test, but there are some red flags that will let you know that the listing isn't what you're looking for.

Here are 5 job listing red flags that can save you time and headaches:

No email address is listed. If a job listing contains an email address that is clearly affliiated with the company, you can feel confident that it is a legitimate opportunity. However, many job listing don't contain an email address or a link to the company website. While this alone isn't reason enough to write off the job listing, when taken along with other red flags, it can be a cause for concern.

No specific position is mentioned. Often scam job listings will mention only vague job titles. For example, they might advertise for "office help" or "exciting job opportunity" rather than "Senior secretary" or "Customer Service Specialist". Also, read the entire post, if there is no mention of a specific job or job duties, you're probably either looking at a job scam or a company that just needs to get a database of resumes.

The pay is too much. If you see a listing for an entry level job that claims that you'll earn a huge amount of money, it's probably not legitimate. You know the old saying, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, if the pay range for the average job title is $25 and the job listing says $10-$30, you can be fairly confident that they are looking for people on the lower end of the spectrum.

The posting asks for a great deal of personal information. This is always a warning sign. When you're applying for a job online, especially in response to a job listing that doesn't give clear company information, you'll want to give as little personal information as you can. This means that you should submit a cover letter, along with a trimmed down version of your resume. Many people like to use the same resume that they would use on a social networking site. The main thing is to submit a resume that gives basic contact information, like your email address, but doesn't give out contact information for previous employers, references or even full educational information. If the job listing asks for your social security number or driver's license number, it's probably a scam.

The ad is poorly worded. Most companies have people who write their job listings. These people are native English speakers and aren't likely to make many mistakes. In fact, it's likely that the job listing will have been proofread and approved by several people before it's posted. So, if the text of the ad seems poorly worded or has many typos, it's probably a foreign scammer. If it's not, then it may not be a company you want to work for.

Even though it can seem that most job listings are scams, it's not true. For every scam, there are hundreds of legitimate job listings. Don't let this discourage you, instead, use the information to make your job search easier and more productive.

Have you ever been taken by a job scam? Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments.


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Trina F thanks for your comment. So true. They always make the jobs look so enticing and the pay is always over the top. That's a good sign that it probably is not legit. Look at the wording the posting. Does it read smoothly or does it look like it was a cut and paste job? Are words misspelled? A company tried to sucker me in also. Luckily, like you, I did my due diligence and found out that it was a scam. I contacted the real company and sent them everything I could find on this scammer. The real company was in Japan and they were very grateful. It always pays to do a little of detective work before you accept any position!

  • Trina F.
    Trina F.

    I have been taken by this. Luckily I figured it out before I had to buy things to do the job. The scams I found have also been companies that are overseas with maybe 1-2 offices in the US. They have multiple jobs for you to choose from and then they tell you if you are qualified and what the pay is. The pay is always fantastic and don't forget the benefits offered.

  • WENDY B.
    WENDY B.

    There's alot of this out there.

  • anton madera
    anton madera

    nice article

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