Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to know if a job posting is legit

There are so many job postings. So how do I know if a job posting is legit or not?

1 comment:

USDCareerBlog said...

This a good question that requires a somewhat wordy response.

There are really two categories of “questionable” job postings. First, there are positions that are not necessarily illegal or illegitimate, but are highly undesirable to most college graduates. Second, there are job scams – fake postings that are designed to access your online information or somehow separate you from your money.

In our February 1, 2010 USD CareerBlog posting you can read about “blind” ads that may or may not be legitimate. You should also Google “Job Scams” for a number of examples. Here some guidelines on how to evaluate a job posting.

Are there aspects of the recruiting process that seem unusual, questionable or unethical?

Jobs may be questionable because of the legitimacy of the organization, the nature of the work, and/or the method of pay. Consider these questions:
• Does the posting provide vague company information and/or ambiguous details about responsibilities?
• Are there grandiose claims about potential earnings (e.g., expect to earn $50,000-100,000 the first year)?
• Does the recruiter have a personal rather than a business email address (e.g., hotmail or yahoo)?
• Does the company have a professional-appearing website?
• When you call or email the contact person, does he or she avoid answering specific questions about the company, product, or job?

What is the method of earning?

Payment comes in many forms, especially in sales positions – straight salary, straight commission, salary plus commission, commission plus draw, hourly pay, or piece rate. If working on any type of commission basis, you need to consider how long it might be before you earn enough to support yourself and how high your risk tolerance is. In general, it is more common for those with little experience to seek salaried positions and those with more work experience to consider salary plus commission or other options based on performance.

Are you asked to make initial monetary layouts?

With the exception of starting your own franchise operation or purchasing a new wardrobe for a job, you typically should not incur significant expenses when starting a new job. If a company requires that you receive training for the purposes of gaining a certification, find out who will pay for study materials and test registration fees.

What are some frequent red flags?

Some recruiters use terminology in a posting that does not accurately portray the job responsibilities. One common example is the use of the term “marketing” for positions that are strictly sales-oriented, often conducted over the phone (telemarketing and/or cold calling) or walking door-to-door to homes or businesses. Such positions may be legitimate, but they are not the corporate marketing jobs many candidates anticipate, and candidates only learn of the actual responsibilities at or after the interview.

Is the position a complete scam?

Avoid altogether any job postings that:
• Request your credit card, bank account, or social security number
• Require copies of personal documents
• Request that you send payment by wire service or courier
• Offer large payments or rewards in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account – often for depositing checks or transferring money
• Claim that you can earn money working minimal hours from home

If you still feel confused or uncomfortable after being thorough and direct in your questioning and research, this is a good indication that you should be wary of the employer. If you ever feel in danger, discontinue contact with the employer immediately.

And please report any inappropriate recruiting practices to Career Services. We hope this helps.