We’ve put together some practical advice on finding jobs for you.
Not all job adverts are genuine. Some are nothing more than scams – con artists taking advantage of enthusiastic jobseekers in order to steal their data or money.
The rise of internet vacancy databases has made it easier than ever for scams to spread. Many job sites are heavily automated and dubious adverts can slip easily under the radar.
To keep yourself safe on the job hunt, you need to know the warning signs of a scam job advert:
- If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Watch out for overly-generous salaries or commission, signing-up bonuses and other enticements. It’s all part of the plan to make you want to believe the opportunity is genuine – even when it’s clear that things aren’t adding up.
- If it’s going to cost you upfront, you’re dealing with a scammer. No genuine employer or recruitment agency will ever ask for an ‘agency fee’ or similar payment. Similarly, legitimate employers won’t ask you to call a premium rate telephone line to respond to a job advert. Never pay to apply.
- If they ask for copies of your bank details or a copy of your passport, they want to steal them. Never give out sensitive personal information at the application stage – if it’s a genuine job they may require this information after you’ve accepted the position, but not before.
- If the advert looks amateur, you’re not dealing with a professional. Genuine companies want to create a good impression with their adverts – they hire designers and proof-read the advert copy. If an advert looks crude and contains poor spelling, punctuation or grammar, think twice – you might have uncovered a scam.
- If your instinct says no, trust them! Don’t disregard your fears as irrational or unfounded – it’s far better to be overly cautious and pass up a potential opportunity than it is to be the victim of fraud.
- And if you’re in any doubt:
- Treat is as a scam until you know otherwise – don’t submit an application, don’t return contact, don’t sign anything, don’t give them money or personal details.
- Do some research. Try googling “(company name)+scam” and see what others say. If you find nothing relevant you could also try looking on forums such as The Student Room – many scams are specifically targeted at students, and there’s a good chance someone has seen a similar advert before.
Students are encouraged to stay alert and consider their safety at the interview stage and during employment (further information about safety in the work place and employment rights is available from the Advice Centre staff at the SRC).
Most interviews will go ahead without any concerns but please note the following precautions that should be taken to ensure personal safety.
- Always make sure you tell a friend or family member where you are going and what time you expect to return.
- Research the company as much as you can before attending the interview.
- Always ensure that the interview takes place either on the company’s premises or in a public place, if you have any doubts about the interview arrangements then please consult staff at the Jobshop.
- Never allow the interviewer to steer you towards questions of a personal nature.
- Make sure there are suitable transport services to use if the interview takes place at night.
- If you are offered a lift from the person interviewing you and have any doubts, just politely say no thank you.