Is this a real job posting?


Is that good yet vague job posting for real? Or is it a scam? What is a safe job search these days?

I saw a job posted in a newspaper recently, a usually reputable source of help wanted ads. The job posting advertised for multiple positions, good pay, no qualifications needed, and the work started soon.

Yet on closer examination, it didn’t say where the jobs were or in what industry. It was not clear who the employer was or who was actually receiving the resumes and personal information—just a generic email address to respond to. There were a few other inconsistencies that made me wonder if it was a real job posting or some sort of scam.

I don’t like to be suspicious. Yet I had a client recently who applied for a job through a job search website and suddenly started receiving any number of scam and questionable job offers that were sent to him as a result of his resume likely being sold to third party sites.

Many of these offers asked him to download software to be interviewed for a job. That alone should make you cautious. In a couple of cases, he was able to identify the company, call their human resources and discover that the company was not involved in the job posting. They also warned him that they do not advertise for postings that way and never require applicants to download any software to apply or be interviewed for a position.

What can you do to safeguard against scam job postings?

  • Always look for the name of the company, the location, and contact info in the job ad.
  • Research the company online with your own search. If you can’t find the job posting on their site, contact them to see if the ad is legitimate.
  • Never download software to apply or interview unless you’ve already spoken to the company and feel confident their request is legitimate (such as using a different video call software than Zoom or Facetime).
  • If the ad is vague or lacks obvious information, be cautious.
  • As they say, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Scams are an unfortunate reality of the internet, and going after people when they are vulnerable and looking for work is particularly repugnant, mean-spirited and just plain nasty. The onus is on you to do your best to understand that the job ad you are responding to is legitimate.

If you have any doubts or questions, contact us. We’re here to help.