Job search? Eight Tips to Avoid False Ads, Online Scams, and Job Abuse

It is the middle of the recession; you are looking for work. As you despair, you become more vulnerable to fake job advertisements, online scam, and job abuse. Yes, these traps are everywhere; in fact, new legislation is needed to protect job seekers like you. Before you ask our politicians to take action, here are eight tips to help you avoid job search pitfalls.

1. Spot fake job postings. Why is someone posting fake job ads? Because recruiters create their own database of job applicants by collecting resumes, even the jobs don’t exist at the time. Additionally, companies in disrepair, usually start-ups, post bogus job advertisements, so that potential investors believe that the company is hiring and expanding. Fake job ads appear on both free and non-free websites. If you have seen a recruiter repeatedly advertising a common job position, it is probably a fake.

2. If a job posting does not contain the company name or contact information, the company is unsure of its reputation or the employer is nothing serious. In any case, you don’t want to work for a company like that.

3. Avoid being abused as free labor. If a small business gives you a take-home test of writing an article about their product or designing their business website in two days, turn it down. This is not a test; this is job abuse. However, it is okay to take a 4-hour exam at an established company. Do not accept any unpaid internship with a small business of fewer than two people. After all, that company may disappear after your internship.

4. If a job offer requires your credit card number or asks you to buy their products first, that is a scam. A real job pays you, not the other way around.

5. Don’t apply for any sales job that doesn’t offer a base salary. Pure commission generally means pure exploitation. A genuine sales position always offers a fixed base salary, with commissions to reward great performance.

6. Avoid pyramid schemes and the pitfalls of multi-level marketing. Here’s a classic example: “You recruit 10 people, then each one recruits 10 people, who in turn recruit 10 people each … you’ll earn millions in commissions.” This is a scam, not a business model.

7. Use reliable job search websites. Even in the recession, there are still many high-paying and secure jobs, especially in the expanding public sector. For example, USAJobs.gov provides federal government jobs; GovernmentJobs.com offers government jobs at the state and municipal level; JobOversight.com lists many jobs for college and school staff.

8. Always ask the experts, even on CNN. The experts are not always right, which is why we are now in recession. Furthermore, each individual is different; you know yourself better than the experts who speak on television to attract advertisers. If you need any professional advice, ask the people around you first.

Without laws to protect job applicants, fake ads, online scam, and job abuse are becoming more and more common. Raise your awareness, and I hope my tips can help you avoid these pitfalls and ultimately achieve a great career. Good luck!

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