You’ve decided it’s time to find a new job. You have your important tools ready to go—your resume is up to date, your LinkedIn is profile optimized, and your interview skills are polished. As you start sifting through various job descriptions, be on the alert for these red flags when you go to apply:
1 – Poorly written job description.
The job description is vague and lacks details. It doesn’t give a clear description of what the job entails or the skills required. It uses poor grammar and has spelling and punctuation errors. It lacks logistics like where you’d be working. There’s just not enough information to go by to help you determine if you are even interested, let alone qualified.
2 – Unrealistic job description.
An unrealistic job description promises a lot of money but doesn’t tell you what you’d be doing, or it has a list of unrealistic requirements and skills needed for an entry-level role. These unclear or unrealistic expectations could mean that the company may be out of touch with the job market or not realize the value of its employees. If the duties and pay don’t seem to align, keep searching and move on to the next job opening.
3 – Lack of company information.
Are you having trouble finding information about the company that’s hiring? Is their online presence lacking? If you can’t find much about them—who they are, what they do, or their brand, mission, or values—that could be a red flag. They may not be interested in building a positive company brand or attracting top talent. While a website or social media doesn’t guarantee legitimacy, it is expected that a company has some type of digital online footprint.
4 – Promises an immediate job offer.
While the company’s need to fill their role may be urgent, there’s still a hiring process that needs to be followed. Important forms and other paperwork need to be filled out and filed accordingly. With such a sense of urgency, can you be sure the proper channels are being followed? Do you feel confident you are being hired by a company that will pay you?
5 – Asking for personal information up front and/or money.
You should not be paying someone to hire you for a job. Also, be wary of giving out your personal information without knowing who you are giving it to.
6 – Posting is outdated.
While there are some companies that have ongoing staffing needs for a particular role, an outdated job posting could mean a few different things: there is a high turnover in the role, the company’s standards are too high for the role, or they may have difficulty making a timely decision. It’s probably a good idea to move to the next job post.
Bonus Tip: Another way to verify if a job is legitimate is to go to the company’s website to see if the job is posted there. Many times companies will post jobs not only on job boards, but also on a company employment page as well as their social media platforms.
We all know the saying, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. This applies to jobs too. The more you search job postings, the more you will notice when things don’t seem quite right. Trust your intuition and keep searching.