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5 Tips to Avoid Fake Job Postings


7/11/2011 3:23:37 PM

By Angela Rose, BioSpace.com

With so many people currently unemployed, there are more scammers out there than ever. It’s unfortunate that unscrupulous people try to prey on those who are looking for legitimate jobs, but it does happen. Online job boards and classified ads can be used by people posing as hiring companies, so it’s important to be aware and cautious when you’re looking for a job. Follow these five tips to avoid fake job postings and you’ll keep your time, money and identity safe.

1. Avoid job postings that sound too good to be true.
In the real world, a job 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. Avoid job postings that “smell fishy.”
Listen to your intuition, your gut, and your common sense when reviewing a job posting. Is the job title unspecific? Is the posting worded strangely? Does it contain numerous misspellings and grammatical errors? If a web address is provided, does the page ask you to enter your email in order to be redirected to the company website? If an email address is provided, is it a free address (such as Gmail or Yahoo)? Any of these peculiarities may indicate a fake job posting or some sort of scam.

3.Avoid 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. A legitimate company will not require you to pay for your own training.

4. Avoid job postings that ask for your personal information.
Never disclose your birth date, social security number or mother’s maiden name until you’ve received a job offer (or at least have had an in-person interview). These details may be required by a potential employer in order to conduct a background check, but they will not do so until they’re ready to hire. Scammers, on the other hand, want immediate access to this information so they can try to steal your identity.

5. Always do your research, even if the job sounds legit.
Google is a job seeker’s best friend. 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.

Conduct your job search with some caution and you’ll easily avoid the scams and frauds nestled among the legitimate postings. However, if you do find yourself a victim of a fake, don’t hesitate to report it to the job board, the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.

About the Author

Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for BioSpace.com.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - July 14, 2011.

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