Avoid Job Search Scams

Navigating Classified AdsCredit: ABXARCredit: ABXAR

While many newspapers still print classified ads that contain job listings, the most efficient method of locating a job opening is clearly the internet.  While the World Wide Web has made areas of life, including finding a job, more efficient and convenient, the downside is that the job search has simultaneously become more cloudy.

Finding a job on the internet

Reputable online job search tools

The most popular online job search websites today are Monster and Career Builder.  However, many lesser-known sites such as Indeed and Simply Hired have entered the market with less fanfare and marketing.  Nonetheless, these job posting sites are gaining popularity and reputation.  These sites offer a wide-range of job types, from accountants to zoo keepers and everything in between.  The interfaces are easy to use, and can be sorted by location, industry, compensation levels, education history, etc.  To be sure that you are casting the widest net possible, make sure you maintain a profile on and regularly search as many of the following websites as possible:


Career Builder


Simply Hired

AOL Jobs


Employment Guide


Job Bank USA


The Ladders


Other job sites are more specific.  For example, USAJobs offers listings only for Federal government jobs.  Similarly, individual states offer websites the only show jobs for that specific state government.

Getting noticed on job search websites

There are many simple, yet often times overlooked, tips to stand out in the sea of applicants on sites like those mentioned above.  These 3 simple steps are but a few ideas to help you catch the eye of a potential employer.

1. Resume name: Instead of "John Smith's Resume", give your resume a title that speaks to your unique qualities or self-selling points.  For instance, resume titles such as "John Smith, 4-time Salesman of the Month" or "Quota-Smashing Sales Professional" are more likely to get noticed.  Also, consider inserting a keyword of your desired job in the resume title if you wish to limit yourself to a particular niche, such as "John Smith, CPA, Personal tax accounting".  (Check back periodically for a subsequent article on resume building)

2. Be thorough: We all know that filling out an online profile for 10 different job search websites can be tedious and time-consuming, but a complete and thorough profile shows that you are detail-oriented and more likely to complete assignments to the fullest extent possible.  You never know what small bit of information your future employer might be looking for when scanning the list of job applications.

3. Update your profile: Keeping an eye on your profile at least bi-weekly will increase your likelihood of getting noticed by potential employers.  Not only does this ensure that your information is timely and accurate, applicant searches conducted by employers typically utilize an algorithm that ranks more recent timestamps higher than "stale" profiles.


Avoid Job Search Scams

Avoid Job Search Scams

While there are many reputable sites on the internet, there are just as many, if not more, scam sites or even scams being conducted on reputable sites.  Follow these 4 simple steps to avoid the pitfalls of a job search scam.

1. Request for money: No reputable job lead is going to require an outlay of money to be considered as an applicant.  Avoid any job listings that require you to pay upfront for training seminars for their "money-making secret" or that make other similar requests.

2. Too good to be true: There's a reason the adage "If it's too good to be true, it probably is" has survived so long.  Any job that promises outrageous earnings potential with minimal effort is most likely a scam.  This could involve the offered allure of working from home.  If there is not a direct correlation between experience and education needed or amount of effort involved, chances are slim that these promises will ever come to fruition.  

3. Vague or poor job description wording: If the job description is filled with ambiguous jargon and flashy language but doesn't describe actual job duties and responsibilities, be cautious.  Similarly, if the job description is written in very poor English, it is most likely an overseas job scam and should be avoided.

4. Do your homework: In today's internet-friendly society, if the company does not have a reputable website or contact information for speaking with a company representative directly, beware.  While a website may seem professional at first glance because of fancy graphics or seemingly trustworthy testimonials, seek third-party confirmation of their legitimacy from trusted sources such as the Better Business Bureau.

Next Steps to Finding A Job(106756)Credit: Mosaic Church of DurhamCredit: Mosaic Church of Durham

Next Steps

Now that you are aware of some of the pros and cons of finding a job on the internet, it is time to tackle creating the documents that will facilitate your job search.  These include resumes, online profiles, and more.  Make sure you check back to Ryan Hachenberger's series on How To Find A Job on infobarrel.com for his articles related to this process.