Are You Searching Safely?

The internet is a primary resource for networking, job searching, and recruitment. It’s the best  place to start your job search but requires a certain amount of caution. While this list is not exhaustive, this guide provides some tips and tricks for finding red flags and reporting  suspicious organizations. 

Research Organizations

  • Visit the organization’s website and social media pages. 
  • Google the organization to find news, info, reviews, etc. 
  • Search for the organization on and
  • Use to check for scam reports. 
  • Search public records for the organization, such as the Secretary of State.

Warning Signs

  • The position sounds too good to be true: the pay is exceptional for a role that requires no experience, a job description with many typos, inconsistencies, or is very vague. Other warning signs include a job offer without an interview, or jobs that require you to purchase something for or from them.
  • The organization does not appear businesslike. The contact telephone is a residential line; people are difficult to reach or require you to talk at odd hours; written communications contain misspellings or poor grammar; websites have amateurish graphics or design. 
  • At the beginning stages, recruiters ask for personal information such as bank account numbers, social security numbers, fill out a credit report form, etc. 
  • The organization asks you to purchase or provide your own equipment, such as computer, cell phone, camera, or other personal equipment OR the organization asks you to make an initial investment. 
  • The organization asks you to work in a private residence. 
  • The organization tries to schedule an interview in a non-professional setting such as a bar, or in a non-public place, such as a personal residence or hotel room; OR, the organization wants to interview you online through an instant messenger, rather than Zoom or Google Meet. 
  • The recruiter offers to pick you up or meet you in their automobile. 
  • The recruiter asks personal or non-businesslike questions or uses social media in an intrusive or non-businesslike way. Research illegal questions to ask in an interview. Here are some examples:
    • Previous employment salary
    • Personal questions, like marital status, pregnancy plans, ethnicity, age, religion
  • In a paid position, the organization offers to pay you in cash or “under the table” or insists that you work at less than minimum wage or without overtime pay. 
  • You feel uncomfortable or targeted based on your identity: your gender, race, national background, age, disability status, or anything related to your specific identity.
  • Most importantly, always feel comfortable to reach out to the Career Development Center to discuss any concerns with an employer or employment offer you have concerns about!

For guidance and more personalized questions, contact your career advisor.