If you’re job hunting, you’re likely to be spending a lot of time online – and while you’re focussed on your job hunt or application, it can be easy to miss warning signs that all is not as it should be… Read on to find out what to look out for and how to stay safe.
Protect your identity
Your CV will include basic contact information – your email and phone number; it doesn’t need to include your address, and don’t include details such as your National Insurance number, passport number, date of birth or bank details in your CV. This kind of information is not needed until you have a definite job offer and are sure the opportunity is genuine.
Resist pressure to apply quickly
Yes, you do need to apply before closing dates, and be aware that some jobs close early if they have enough good applications. But if you are being pressured to apply immediately, this should be a warning sign. Look for the company website to check their vacancies, phoning to confirm if necessary.
Hold onto your money
- Don’t be tricked into paying upfront for fake security checks, certification or training, or into sending money in advance for interview travel. Reputable companies will reimburse interview travel expenses and would certainly not ask you to pay in advance for any part of the recruitment process.
- If you have a phone interview, you can expect to be given a landline number to call. Make sure you check and do not call a premium rate number (these usually start 070 or 09).
Check emails carefully
- It might look like an official email address – but is it? Fake email addresses can look convincing – have they changed a letter in the name for example? Several employers have warnings on their websites about people imitating their email addresses. Equally, the use of a personal email account rather than a company email address is unlikely to be genuine.
- Be suspicious if you get an email about a job you haven’t applied for, or an email requesting personal information or bank details. Spelling mistakes and poor grammar are also clues to look out for.
Be realistic – don’t get scammed!
- If the employer is not interested in your skills and experience, or is offering a job paying a large salary with “no experience necessary”, then you should be cautious. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is!
- Students sometimes ask us about job ads for a book keeper or funds processor, offering high pay for minimal work – this is a money laundering scam using your bank account for clients to pay in money, which you will then be asked to transfer on. There are serious legal consequences – if the worst happens and you are scammed, make sure you report it to Action Fraud.
- The SaferJobs website has more information and advice
- HMRC give advice on spotting phishing emails
- Recruitment agencies who are members of an industry association such as REC, APSCo or TEAM have standards in place to prevent job scams.
- If you have any questions come and talk to us in Careers and Placements.