When a Job Seems Too Good to Be True

Maybe you have found a job that offers you the chance to travel the world, pays you an incredible salary and promises you stock dividends that would make Rockefeller give you the thumbs up.

Then, the doubts set in. Is the job really that good? When you are unemployed, most of your day probably consists of looking for work opportunities. Furthermore, one of the decisions you have to make involves considering whether a job is even worth applying for. However, if you have been unemployed for a long period, this may become harder to determine, as you may be compelled to apply for any job that ends your unemployment status. While this may seem like a good idea, it may actually work against you.

Instead of applying for every job you find, it is advantageous to assess whether an employment opportunity is actually a good fit for you. Moreover, because most job searches are performed online, you have to be mindful that there are many scams out there. While finding the perfect job may not always be possible in every sense, there are tips that can help you decide whether a position is a right fit for you, as well as if it is a legitimate employment opportunity.

Does the job seem fishy?

One of the inherent risks that come with searching for too many jobs at once is accidentally applying for a position that just does not seem legitimate. Therefore, applicants must be mindful of the noticeable red flags to look out for when deciding whether or not to apply for a particular opportunity found during a job search.

If a job listing does not include the name of the hiring company, has questionable contact information and/or does not include a legitimate website for the business, there is a strong chance that the opportunity is a scam or not entirely real. Another potential red flag is when the only way to contact a hiring manager is through a generic email address, such as Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo. Most prominent companies, even small ones, are quick to establish their own email addresses, which are customized with the name of the business in lieu of generic emails.

A common misconception among job applicants is that listing scams are only found on classifieds websites such as Craigslist. However, scam listings can appear in various platforms, and even through official state job search tools. Thus, it is important to remain diligent when determining the legitimacy of a job posting.

As a general rule, it is important to take your time to look carefully through several job listings. Moreover, you may benefit from performing basic research on the companies offering these jobs before you apply. Even if you are not worried about whether or not a job is actually a scam, doing preliminary research is a good way to find out if a particular company is a right fit for you. In addition, you may find information that will help you during an interview.

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What are the job requirements?

There are situations in which you may be eligible for a job even if you do not meet all of the requirements detailed in a listing. That is because hiring managers tend to prioritize certain aspects of a job listing, and you may qualify under those priorities. For instance, an employment opportunity may include the requirement of a specific degree. If you do not have the necessary degree but have several years of experience in a similar job field, there is a strong chance that the hiring manager will overlook your lack of a degree. Moreover, if you have experience leading teams, you may be eligible for a manager position. As such, if your qualifications are close to those that are listed on a job application, it is worth completing an application.

In addition to the eligibility requirements, you need to take an honest look at the tasks you would be committing to complete if you accepted the job. For example, if you know that the job has a long commute, you must consider the possibility of dealing with that commute on a daily basis. Similarly, if an employment opportunity requires you to work hours or days that you are not comfortable with, it may be best to avoid applying for it.

It may be difficult to reasonably assess job requirements if you are desperate to find work. However, it certainly helps to ask yourself if you would normally be applying for this type of job if you were not under so much pressure. If you are having to talk yourself into taking a job, reconsider whether it is worth applying for it at all.

Is there room for advancement?

When considering whether or not to apply for a job, it is important to look into the future. One of the reasons this question is commonly asked in interviews is because companies do not want to hire employees who are not planning to stay with them long term. However, some positions have minimal room for career advancement, or only allow you to advance if you have certain degrees or significant experience in the field.

Related Article: Easy Ways to Advance in Your Career

If you plan on meeting the additional requirements that would allow you to advance in a particular company, then that job may be a good fit for you. However, if you believe that there is no room for advancement in a certain organization, it may not be worth applying for the positions that are being offered.

Do you really want this job?

While it seems like a pretty basic concept, you would be amazed at how many people overlook this very simple question: “Do I really want this job?” As a general rule, it is important to recognize whether you are only applying for a job because you need to be employed. If you end up working a job you did not want in the first place, make sure that you are aware of the reasons why you accepted the offer. Otherwise, you may find yourself unmotivated to perform even the simplest tasks. Before applying for a job, make a list of everything you wish to have, which may include factors such as:

  • Your ideal salary.
  • Your ideal boss, manager or company structure.
  • Your ideal responsibilities.
  • Your ideal work hours and location.

Take the time to compare job listings according to your personal requirements, being mindful that finding the perfect job may not be feasible. However, while searching for different opportunities, you may stumble upon positions that match at least most of your criteria.

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