Looking for a job takes sweat, tears, and tenacity. We all know this.
In the midst of our hard work and a desperation to get hired at this very moment, there are many phony corporations who prey on just that. Whether they are hidden pyramid schemes or phishing emails (emails hoping you'd provide important personal information), these companies are obviously something to avoid.
Scammers not only hinder your job search progress, but allowing them to hire you stagnates your skills and abilities. Normally, there is essentially no real growth with these organizations, unless you pay your way up. Ultimately, they have the potential to ruin your financial inventory and professional reputation.
So how can you tell if a potential job offering is a scam? Well there are many! In my years of job hunting, I have dealt with a good amount of these companies trying to reach out to me, and it didn't take long to pick up on the patterns.
I'm taking these observations from my own experience, as well as my closest friends'.
Tell-Tale Signs of a Scammer
1) The company name is extremely generic.
Some mess like "Better Management Inc."
2) There are spelling errors or an extreme informality in their emailed approach to you.
3) If you're on Craigslist or classifieds site: The posting only talks about benefits with barely any requirements and NO information about the company.
4) You have no idea how they got your information.
Just like if any other person walked up to you, talking about you, soliciting you, and you know you never met them in your life. You should probably run.
5) If you applied to one of these jobs and they call you in less than 24 hours.
6) The company tries to schedule an in person interview with you AS SOON AS THEY POSSIBLY CAN.
Most legitimate places will try to schedule an in-person interview with you within 2 weeks of receiving your application(and of course, this could take much longer). A scammer will literally ask you to come in today or tomorrow. Again, they're preying on your desperation.
7) Once the interview is scheduled, they tell you to bring your resume and dress professionally.
WHY WOULD A PROFESSIONAL TELL YOU TO COME TO AN INTERVIEW DRESSED WELL WITH YOUR RESUME? This is one of the most understood practices of interviewing. If a recruiter feels the need to tell you this prior to your interview, then it's a scam. They know that they are literally just calling anyone and trying to get them in, so they feel the need to put out that reminder for those who never had a professional job.
8) At the interview, they discuss salary and benefits before they even get 2 sentences deep into the job description.
They shouldn't be discussing it AT ALL, but it is a super sure sign of a scam if it's almost the first thing they bring up.
9) Under the guise of "marketing and advertising", the company will try to hire you on for a managerial position, even if you REALLY don't qualify.
These people will put out job postings for a Marketing Manager or something similar, but the requirements would be that of a high school student. Let's get real, no one is asking you to manage something with ZERO experience right out the door. They use these words to make everything sound too good for you to pass up. Then you apply, and the company has you canvassing, cold calling, or setting up store demos asking people to "try this" when they would rather ignore you.
10) It requires you to spend money first.
Such as buying the demonstration product for your future presentations.
Does it sound like you've applied to a scam already? It's going to be ok.
Ignoring these companies once they've obtained your information is actually pretty easy. They don't harass those who don't answer. If they do, then its probably automated and you can cancel those emails by travelling to the bottom of them.
Google will also help your ability to discern.
A lot of these companies have already been figured out, because the internet is great with connecting people with others based on shared experiences. 8/10, if you Google search a scammer, the first page of results will confirm your suspicions.
If Google doesn't help and you're still wary of a company, use the list above and trust your gut. Usually if I see 3 tell-tale signs, I just won't show up to the calling.
If I REALLY can't get a handle on it, then I entertain the first interview. There's honestly no cost in that other than the gas to get there.
I hope this helps in your future job endeavors! Protect your identity, and protect your wallet.