Applying for a job should not be like buying pig in a poke. No matter how badly you are in need of a new job, you should never overlook any red flags you might find in a job ad. Afterall, a job search is more than finding employment opportunities. It is also an opportunity to get a glance of how the world of work looks like.
The internet era has made it easier for individuals or organizations to forge their online presence. With scammers prying over unguarded jobseekers, you have to be really careful when browsing through jobs. Here are several red flags you should be aware of prior to applying for a position or accepting a job offer.
Vague Job Description
Job description is the first step to decide whether a job is suitable and worth it for you or not. A good job description should not leave you unsure of what the job requires, as it should be clear in terms of list of skills, responsibilities, and benefits. If you come across a job description that is too vague, you need to think twice before sending your application. For example, if a job ad mentions that candidates' age must not be above 25, yet demands them to have at least 3 years of experience, you need to first think: is it rational? An irrational requirement can be a negative sign that the company may demand irrational deliverables for its future employees.
Another example is when a job ad only mentions "unlimited income" without specifying that the job is for a sales position. Unless you are able to work based on target, you may want to look for other options, since this type of job may retain you with no definite monthly salary. To prevent any misunderstanding about the role's objectives, it is essential to properly read and comprehend the job description.
Low Glassdoor ratings
When looking for a job, it's always a good idea to see what other people have to say about your prospective future employer. Glassdoor is one of the most dependable sources for doing this. If the company’s Glassdoor reviews are full of negative comments and unpleasant testimonies, then you might revisit your intention for applying.
However, while Glassdoor reviews are a red flag, a positive one does not necessarily give the company a green flag. Despite what current or former employees have to say, it is better to get a clearer grasp of company reviews and ask questions about what you find—especially if the issues appear to be serious. If necessary, you can also approach current employees about what it is like to work there, either in-person, if you know them personally, or through a LinkedIn message.
Tardy recruiting process
Just as companies expect you to arrive on time for interviews, you should expect the same from interviewers—being late is always bad etiquette. If you have to wait too long during an interview, you may wonder if the company values your time or genuinely wants you for the job. Their delay may also indicate that they are unorganized and have poor management abilities. If a recruiting manager is late for an interview, observe whether or not they apologize. The absence of an apology should ring a bell that they might not respect you as a candidate.
If you go to a job interview but do not learn enough about the role and company, there are good chances you do not recognize the corporate culture and how it matches with your values and career objectives. If this is the case, ask the interviewer to clarify about the responsibilities and benefits so you can determine whether it really suits you or not. When the interviewer fails to give proper answers or seems to hide some information, then you may need to be suspicious.
The job market is undergoing change with digital transformation, and job seekers must be more prepared than ever. Pay attention to how employers promote themselves in job descriptions. Look for signs that a company genuinely cares and presents itself in the best light possible. Practicing precaution will set you up for a successful hiring process, allowing you to obtain a position that allows your personal branding to thrive.
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