Red Flags for Job Searching on Craigslist
Looking for a new couch, a car, or even a new job? Craigslist has proven to be that go-to place for everything. Unfortunately, most jobseekers flock to the popular website for the same reasons many scam artists do: it’s free (for most listings), easy to use, and literally has something for everyone.
Often times sketchy job listings stick out like sore thumbs, in other instances, it takes a little bit of research (and some skepticism) to sniff out the fishy details of the job post. You can find legitimate employment opportunities on Craigslist. However, always proceed with caution and use these five red flags to help you determine if a job lead is good or too good to be true.
- Vague, generic descriptions
Craigslist wasn’t built as a job search website and therefore doesn’t require users to list a company name, job requirements, or even basic contact information. Not only does this make it difficult to do research on the company, but it raises questions about why these simple pieces of information were left out in the first place.
- Asking for too much personal information
Many job ads are designed to lure unsuspecting jobseekers into revealing personal information as a ploy to either steal their identity or gain access to their bank accounts. Never give out information such as your social security number, bank account details, or even your home address. This type of information is usually not required until much later in the hiring process or until after a formal job offer has been made.
- Questionable email addresses
It’s not uncommon to find job ads that use one of Craigslist’s anonymous reply emails. Though this can cause some uncertainty about who your resume is going to, it’s not a tell-tale sign that a job is a scam (many legitimate business actually use this system). Instead, be wary if a prospective employer is reaching out to you via a personal or non-company email address. Most hiring managers will have an email address that corresponds to their company (for instance, Paul@company.com).
Is the job ad rife with misspelled words and poor grammar? Is there an excessive use of dollar signs and exclamation points? Is it unclear what the job actually entails? While a few typos are easy to overlook, a job ad that looks like it’s been written by a toddler usually warrants a red flag.
- Too good to be true
In most cases, if a job lead sounds too good to be true it probably is. And while you should approach any Craigslist job lead with caution, jobseekers should be mindful of how Hawaii’s low unemployment rate is playing into the advertisement of local jobs. A dwindling talent pool means that desperate employers are pulling out all the stops to attract high quality employees – whether it’s offering a higher salary, attractive benefits and perks, or even a bonus upon accepting a position.
At the end of the day, you should always exercise good judgement and common sense when pursuing a job lead on Craigslist. The tips above provide some guidelines, but remember that they aren’t fool-proof – a job listing of a legitimate small business could come off as suspicious, while some job scams are so well-fabricated you’d never know they were phony.
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