How to Spot a Scam Job Posting

How to spot a scam job postingThankfully, scam job postings are pretty rare.                                                                                                                    

The majority of job ads come from managers who simply want to find a talented candidate who they can bring onto their team.                                                                                                                                                       

However, scam job ads do come up from time to time – and even though they're pretty rare, getting caught by one can undermine your confidence or, even worse, drain your motivation to keep putting more irons in the fire.

So, today, I’d like to share some tips on how to sniff out the bogus postings. That way, you can apply to your next job with confidence that it's legit.                                                                                                                   

Here's what to look for:                                                                                                                                                               

  • Does the application process seem too easy? HR reps and hiring managers generally want to only process applications from the most motivated candidates. So they'll usually put in small "hoops" to weed out candidates who aren't a fit. But scammers want to widen their net and rip off as many people as possible.
  • Does the opportunity look too good to be true?If an ad promises a suspiciously high salary, while telling you that you can work from home and enjoy a company car too, then you should be suspicious. Legitimate postings use sober language that focuses on the nature of the job, rather than salary or other benefits.
  • Does the add seem vague?If the ad lacks specific details about the company and the role, then, again, you should be suspicious. Even the CIA gives details on some of its job roles when advertising – and they're a top-secret spy network!
  • Does it ask for a fee?If the job posting asks for money up front, then move on. No legitimate organization charges people money to apply for its roles. (Note: one of the more recent scams is to ask people to pay for a background or credit check. Again, no legitimate employer would ask this.)
  • Does it ask for unrelated personal information?   If it asks you to disclose details like your age, personal interests, family situation, or even provide a photograph, then do not respond. Identity thieves can use this information for all kinds of nefarious purposes.

Whenever you're applying for a job, I recommend – as a rule – that you spend about 30 minutes researching the organization. Take a look at their website. Search for reviews in Google. Look them up on Facebook.                                  

(Besides protecting you from scams, this habit also means that you'll walk into the interview with enough knowledge to show interviewers that you did your homework. Interviewers pick up on this almost immediately.)                      

What happens if you can't find any information about the company?

Pass them over.                                                                                                                                                             

Because if there's any doubt, there is no doubt.                                                                                                               

Besides, there's a whole world of opportunity out there. As a job seeker in the current economic climate, you're in a position where you get to be picky. This means you should pass over anything that doesn't meet your standards.

On the other hand – if, after carrying out some basic due diligence, a job posting checks out and the organization looks like one you'd like to work for, then you should apply for the opportunity with confidence.

The best way to give yourself more confidence is to build on this due diligence you just carried out – and use your research to help you construct a set of "go-to" interview answers that are carefully constructed to show hiring managers how your unique combination of talents, experience, and signature strengths makes you their dream hire for the role in question.                                                                                              

And this is EXACTLY what my Interview Success Formula program is about.                           

I show you, step by step, how to dig out your "unique selling points" as a candidate and turn them into a set of tailor-made answers to all of the most common questions interviewers ask – including the tricky ones.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.