The job market began 2023 in a very different place than it was a year ago, according to experts. As the possibility of a recession approaches, job seekers remain optimistic about their prospects for the year ahead. In a recent Joblist survey of 30,000 job seekers in the United States, approximately two-thirds of respondents said they plan to change jobs in the next year, despite ongoing tech layoffs, rising inflation and the International Monetary Fund's prediction of a recession for a third of the world. The survey revealed that three-quarters of remote workers do not object to tracking software, and a significant number believe they have the upper hand in the current job market.
Maybe so, but job hunters can lose that upper hand quickly if they get suckered in by fake job offers, also known as job scams, which can be difficult to navigate. According to Dave Fisch, Ladders CEO, there are several ways you can protect yourself from unnecessary stress when job searching. “The internet has led to an explosion of increasingly sophisticated fake job offer scams, but don’t forget the internet works for you, too,” Fisch says. “Learning how to use it in your favor can turn the tables on scammers.” In an email to me, the Ladders CEO offered six preventive tips job seekers can us to protect themselves.
# 1. Research The Company
Fisch recommends looking up the company's website and social media pages. Then check for red flags such as a lack of information or an unprofessional-looking website. “Legitimate companies will usually have detailed information about their products or services, their management team and a contact page,” he told me. “Scammers rely on a lack of sophistication on the part of those being scammed, but you are probably far more sophisticated at spotting red flags on webpages than they’d like.” He describes that the trick is to avoid jumping at an offer because it feels so great and promises so much. Instead he cautions being skeptical and checking out that website carefully. And don’t imagine that not asking for sign up fees or in-depth personal information upfront makes you safe. He declares that we’re beyond that in 2023.
#2. Look For Reviews
According to Fisch, the second tip is to look for reviews of the company or the job offer from current or former employees or from other job seekers who have applied for the same position. “Most companies attract a range of reviews that can easily be found by searching the company name and adding ‘reviews’ or other simple search combinations,” he advises. “For a real company, you’ll likely see a range of reviews from five star to one star. Take note of all the information given, including publishing dates. If reviews are non-existent or sparse, but positive, be suspicious and search the company’s name for any other public information.”
# 3. Be Suspicious Of Unsolicited Job Offers
A third tip Fisch lists is to be aware that legitimate job offers usually come as a result of an application or an inquiry that you made, not the other way round. “It’s important to be skeptical of job offers that come out of the blue, especially if they ask for your personal information or money at any point,” he warns. “Even if they don’t ask for that upfront, be skeptical anyway and check them out. In today’s online, remote-work world, scams can go beyond the job interview to the onboarding process.” It’s not until after you’ve handed over all your information does it slowly dawn on you that there is no job, he adds.