Stepping into the real world can be frightening for recent college graduates—especially when it comes to job hunting.
In a world where the Internet is our main source of communication, applying for jobs usually takes place through online career boards or company websites.
As you exit school to search for that dream job, there are a few tips you need to take with you on your journey.
Not every job offer online is legitimate or what it appears to be. Therefore, it’s up to you to be suspicious of certain red flags. At the same time, you should also be conducting thorough research on a company or job you’re interested in pursuing.
In this article I will share with you five Dos and Don’ts that should help you along the way as you send off those resumes.
5 Online Job Seeking Don’ts
1. Don’t Accept Strange Gigs or Job Offers
There are a lot of scams out there in the virtual world. Sometimes as a recent college graduate, you become anxious to immediately land a job if you haven’t already; so, you apply to jobs that may be outside your career field. Some of the most common job offers that specifically target a lot of college graduates are mystery shopping or reshipping positions. However, these jobs usually involve money scandals. Issues that evolve from these jobs relate to counterfeit checks or stolen credit cards. Be very wary of companies that send you emails with these job ads.
2. Don’t Fall for Huge Salary Offers
Some job postings will offer huge salaries for doing basically nothing. If a job promises compensation in exchange for minimal work effort, then you should stay far away from it. Most of these jobs include pyramid schemes or stay-at-home jobs that require you to refer and add other people to the organization in order to get paid.
3. Don’t Pay for Fees/Costs
If a company is asking for an upfront fee in exchange for labour, then this is another red flag that should be considered without hesitation. A legal job will never ask for money. They should be paying you, and not the other way around.
4. Don’t Give Out Personal Financial Information
NEVER give out any of your financial information online. Legitimate jobs do not ask that you provide this on applications. This is just another way for a scam artist to steal your money or even worse, your identity.
5. Don’t Trust Vague Answers
If you’re inquiring about the company or job position, and the HR person isn’t completely clear or transparent about what the job will entail, then this is a sign that something is not right. Never trust a company that gives vague answers or dodges question. Also, never accept work you’re not completely knowledgeable about.
5 Online Job Seeking Dos
1. Look Out for Amateur Ads
Read a company’s advertisement with an editor’s eye. It’s absolutely fair to base a job’s legitimacy off of simple spelling and grammar mistakes. Companies should strive to be as credible as possible, and if their online postings are structurally unattractive, then don’t look into the job any further.
2. Visit Company Website
Stalk the company a little bit. Go on their website and check out their "About Page" or mission statement. Try to learn more about the history of the company and things it has accomplished thus far. Research the company’s business practices and office environment while you’re up there. Also, read into some of the employees’ biographies to become more acquainted with the people who already work there. More importantly, locate a job board on the site where you could directly apply to the company.
3. Use LinkedIn to Find More Information
LinkedIn is a handy tool, especially when you want to become even more connected to an employer or business. In addition to learning more about the company through its website, also use this social media site as another option. The company may post useful information or even links to current job openings. Also, you will be able to follow any employees who are also connected to the company. Definitely take advantage of this tool.
4. Look-Up Reviews
Other people’s views are sometimes the best way to form an opinion of your own about a job you’re pursuing. Based off the positive or negative feedback a company receives, you can decide for yourself if this would be the right path to take. Try BBB Business Review or Glassdoor online job board—which also provides employee and customer reviews.
5. Speak to a Hiring Manager
Talk with a hiring manager about the company and job position. While researching the company on its official website or through LinkedIn, try to find the HR department’s contact information. Whether you decide to email or call, ask important questions that will help guide you through your decision process. As stated before, if the HR representative fails to provide direct, clear, and honest responses, then cross the job off your list.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you throughout your search of finding and applying to the right job. Adopt a system that best works for you.