Six warning signs a job might be a scam

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Is there anything worse than finding your dream job only to discover it doesn’t actually exist? Or it’s a scam? Or it’s just the not the job you thought it would be?

Scams are a reality and they are becoming more common with the use of internet job postings and the benefits of email as an application method. In case you run into these red flags and warning signs, here are some tips to follow to help you secure a credible career:

The company’s name or main information is not listed in the job description

If they really want to hire you, why wouldn’t they attach their name and brand to the job posting? It is possible that they don’t want to be bombarded with phone calls, but be cautious about this one and try to find out the name of the company as early as possible so you can do some research on it. They should have a business address, phone number, a theirname@company.com email address and hopefully a website.

The position details are very vague

If you can’t figure out the minimum/maximum hours, shifts, salary or responsibilities by reading the job description, ask before you get to the interview process. If you are offered the job, go through your contract with a fine-tooth comb to make sure everything is legitimate and the position is stable.

The pay rate is varied by experience, ranging “about” or “around” a certain amount

This usually means one of two things: either the position is based on commission or the business is not legitimate and does not give set hourly wages. Make sure you check the contract or you may find yourself fighting for unpaid work. Find out what the minimum wage is on your province and ensure you’re being paid above that based on your education and experience. (Internships can be a bit different, as they’re often unpaid or unpaid with a flat-rate honourarium.)

The posting boasts that no experience is required

Every job needs some kind of experience, whether it is with customer service, computers or just being personable. Find out what they expect you to do each day, what knowledge or training is required, and what kind of on-the-job training they’ll provide.

They respond to your application too quickly

There is nothing more exciting than getting a reply after you’ve submitted a resumé or application. If you think they didn’t have enough time to review your skills and application thoroughly, don’t get too excited. Be curious about how many other people they are interviewing and the process involved.

They ask for money or personal information

This one should be a no-brainer. If you apply for an office position and they send you a generic email asking you to fill out a credit report, you have to wonder where they’re going with this. You may have even applied for two different positions or listings and received the same email response for both. It happens, hopefully just to me though!

Legitimate employers need to know your address, phone number, emergency contacts and, of course, your social insurance number for tax purposes. You may also need to provide a void cheque to direct deposit your pay.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • What is the name of the company? Are they reputable?
  • Is their information and contact info easily accessible?
  • Are the hours guaranteed?
  • Is there an assurance of pay? How are the wages calculated?
  • What are the job duties?

If at any point you have to question the legality of a company, it’s better to get out early to avoid the hassle of having your information stolen, forking out money or wasting your valuable time. Time that could be better spent looking for a meaningful position at a well-respected company.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Some companies will use any lingo to get you in – don’t fall into a trap. For example, entry-level marketing at an unknown company is sometimes a nice way of saying door-to-door sales – I found this out the hard way.

With these tips, you can narrow down the job search and spend your time on employers who make the effort to be forward about their brand and transparent about their roles. Like the employers on TalentEgg!

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