Student Perspective: Job Scam Tips

In my nine months here at CDS, I have become slightly obsessed with the job searches of all my friends. Every time any of us lands a new interview or hands out our resume we call one another to talk about it. It is a very exciting time in our lives, and it is great to have so many friends going through the process with me. Recently however one of my friend’s was duped by a job search scam, and she was very disappointed. She found out about the job in a Google search for marketing jobs. She sent in her resume and received a phone call the very next day for an interview. The first round interview was held at the company headquarters and was a success. At her second round interview however, she found out some very disappointing things. She was informed that her job would be 100% commission in a region 45 minutes away from her base location. The price of travel was not covered by the company, and she would be required to meet a minimum amount in sales each week. She didn’t find any of this out until she had invested many hours in interview preparation and travel.

When she relayed her story to me, I thought “Well, students should be given something to help them identify these scams.” So I went searching and found a list of 20 things job searchers should look for to indentify a scam, courtesy of author Talkabout on her job search blog on

  1. It has a generic, over-used or vague job title. Admin Assistant or Customer Service Rep are popular ones.
  2. The jobs that indicate that "Telecommuting is Ok." This attracts many people and gives them more responses.
  3. They fail to list a specific location for the job - i.e. they list no location under the city or area that you are searching.
  4. They list a salary or hourly wage that seems too good to be true or too specific like $13.64 - $34.23 / hour.
  5. They list it as a government job.
  6. They post a job with a title that doesn't match the description.
  7. They use strange sentences or misspellings.
  8. A search for that job title in Google - example "Admin Assistant Craig's List" and comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post. Because Craig's List is free - they can easily post the same bogus job post in every city.
  9. If the description has a bunch of exclamation points and promises high income in one week.
  10. If the description boldly states "No Experience Necessary" but has a promise of high pay.
  11. There is no job contact information. A quality job post will tell you who to email or give you a valid company website.
  12. A link that is to a home business or multi level marketing opportunity website. This isn't a JOB - but a business venture. If you were looking for a home business opportunity you would have searched that category.
  13. A link that redirects you to another site.
  14. A link that takes you to a job membership site and asks you to register.
  15. A quick response to your email inquiry that tells you they have reviewed your resume when you didn't even send it.
  16. A quick response to your email inquiry that leads you to another website that promises you more job openings - like government jobs. Click after click - nothing but a time waster...
  17. A response to your email inquiry that asks you to sign up for a web- conferencing service so you can be part of a training call.
  18. A response to your email inquiry with a name and company that does not exist.
  19. A response to your email inquiry from someone in a foreign country looking to hire people in the United States to handle accounts payable or receivables.
  20. The same auto response to all of your emails. There isn't a real person at the other end of the email account.
Thanks to her blog I was able to learn a little more about how to spot a scam, and also pass along this very useful information to my peers.

Happy job searching,

Job Search Jenna '10

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