| 6 safety tips for online job seekers
If you're still in doubt, reply
without sending a resume. Ask the employer or human resources manager
for whatever piece of information would satisfy your concerns, such
as a reply e-mail from a corporate e-mail address, suggests Rothberg.
Or, you could call the company and ask to speak with the person
who sent you the e-mail. They should be happy to start a conversation
with you if they're trying to fill a job opening, says Steven Branigan,
president of CyanLine, an Internet security consulting firm, and
author of "High-Tech Crimes Revealed."
2. Find a job
board you trust.
eBay sites have privacy policies," says Branigan. For better security, he
suggests sticking with job boards you've heard of, such as Monster.com,
or Hotjobs.com -- not only
because they are better known but because they will have the most connections.
When it comes to getting that all-important job interview, "it's all about
connections," says Branigan.
For more security comfort,
find out how hard it is to create a job posting on that job board, says Branigan.
Click through the employer links rather than the job seeker links to see what
they are asking employers. Generally, the more trustworthy sites will charge employers
a fee to look at resumes, says Margot Carmichael Lester, author of "The
Real Life Guide to Starting Your Career" and monthly contributor to Monster.com.
controlling who looks at your resume, trustworthy sites should let you control
how much of your resume remains private, says Lester. If they don't let you mask
your resume, don't post your resume on their site.
find a job board you trust, carefully read the employment listings before you
reply to them with an application.
Sniff ads for a phishiness
Learn to spot a suspicious ad. Misspelled
words in a job ad are a tip-off to rip-offs. "There seems to be some rule
among scammers that there must be at least one misspelled word," says Branigan.
Also, verify that the Web site's link in the ad goes to the
domain advertised in the message. Just because the link reads "BestJobInTheWorld.com"
doesn't mean the link will actually take you to a site by that name. If they don't
match, watch out. Another sign of danger is when the job description sounds too
good to be true or doesn't make sense.
International job opportunities
can be suspect, says Merrill. Traveling might sound ideal, but not if the company
makes you pay for the flight or fraudulently sucks money from you somehow. See
if the company really exists first by conducting a Web search.
ads" -- advertisements that omit a company's name -- shouldn't necessarily
raise an eyebrow, but the business should still describe itself and the open position
well. If the ad lacks enough information for you to figure out what the job entails,
it's probably a scam, says Lester.
All the experts generally
agreed on one characteristic: If the ad mentions any upfront fees, it's most likely
a scam. The employer pays, not the other way around.
Apply to a handful of employers.
Be selective when
answering job ads. "The problem comes in when candidates apply to as many
jobs as they can. Nobody has the time to verify hundreds of employers," Rothberg
says. Sticking with a few companies you trust allows you to track who has your
resume -- and who can claim to have seen it in an e-mail.