The nearly 5 million people quitting their jobs each month – coupled with the rise of remote work – has fueled a spike in job posting scams and associated financial losses during the past two years. So, if you are on the lookout for your next career move, how can you protect yourself from bad actors and “too good to be true” job opportunities? Make sure to read the fine print on a new Job Contract may receive.
Yes, social media platforms like Instagram can be a great place to start your job hunt, but they can also be riskier options. Here’s how to navigate the social media job posting world and find the right opportunity for your career.
Scams Exist – Don’t Underestimate Them!
Social media platforms like Instagram have become instrumental tools for companies, recruitment agencies, and hiring managers to find the right candidates for a job. That is because appealing media, readily available social proof, and multiple engagement options influence how users (or applicants) perceive and use the content.
Eye-catching images, direct messages, and insights into the company’s day-life can create an idyllic, vibrant, or energetic picture applicants will be enticed to become part of. However, flashy job descriptions advertised through Instagram ad campaigns are sometimes not as truthful and authentic as they appear to be.
Instagram job scams are more real and common than ever. In most cases, bad actors aim to obtain a candidate’s personal information or money, often pretending to be associated with well-known brands or companies.
Research the Hiring Company
Researching the hiring company isn’t only important to make sure that a brand is a right match for your career goals and skill set. It is also a simple way to stay clear of most job scams!
Here are some of the boxes a company should tick off before you decide to apply for an advertised job posting:
- Have a professional business website
- Provide profiles of their recruiters
- You can find authentic reviews from employees and customers on accredited websites like Glassdoor and Indeed
- It is accredited by official organizations like the Better Business Bureau
- Have a genuine social media presence and community
Be Aware Of Common Red Flags
When you spot what seems to be the perfect job opportunity, it’s easy to become blind to the telltale signs that you are falling for a job scam. Before diving headfirst into a malicious or deceitful job application, keep in mind the following Instagram red flags:
- Unprompted calls or emails from a recruiter offering you a job for which you have never applied
- Suspicious requests for money or personal information
- Extremely high salaries compared to the industry’s standards
- Limited search results about the company – i.e., you can’t find the company’s website or the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile
- Unclear job descriptions, poorly written posting, and misspelled words
- Suspicious or unsecured URL (non-HTTPS browsing), especially when requiring personal or financial information
- Unprofessional communication from the recruiter
Review Your Job Contract With a Specialist Before Signing It
If you have conducted your research and applied with the assurance that both the recruiting company and the job offers are legitimate, you are entitled to an employment contract.
No matter whether the job offer is for a full-time position or freelance work, you should review your job offer and agreement before signing it.
If you are unsure how the company will protect your interests, a legal specialist can help you understand what to look for. For example, suppose you have applied for a bus driving position. In that case, a bus accident lawyer can help assess your legal recovery options in an accident and identify the safety recommendations your hiring company has implemented to protect both drivers and passengers.
Working with a specialized legal team is particularly important if you are about to sign a job contract that involves physical risks or financial investments.
If It Looks Too Good to be True, It Probably Is!
Using your common sense is important no matter the route you take to apply for a job – but it is especially so when applying for a job advertised through Instagram ads. According to the FBI’s IC3, just in 2020, over 16,000 people fell victim to online job scams for a total loss of nearly $60 million.
With employment scam actors using easy-to-access ads and social media to advertise dishonest job positions, candidates need to set realistic expectations about real job offers’ salary, benefits, and responsibilities.
While the right opportunity can help you build long-term wealth and lay the foundations of a successful career, most “get rich quick” schemes end in significant financial losses for the applicant!
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