The Internet is a great resource, so long as you know what to avoid
A lot of employers have taken their business online these days, replacing the old-fashioned “Help Wanted” signs with craigslist ads or social media posts. Internet job sites can represent a win-win, as they allow both parties to learn more about each other while zeroing in on an ideal match.
Despite that, there are a handful of pitfalls, which is why it helps to follow these three guidelines whenever searching jobs online:
1. Be Cautious Whenever Posting Resumes
The way the online marketplace operates, it’s helpful to post your resume on job sites, thereby allowing employers to come to you. Doing so provides them with a snapshot of your experience, and it allows them to determine whether you’d be a good fit.
That said, be sure to double-check any resume you’re posting to ensure it does not provide any proprietary info (i.e., social security number, bank info, etc.), any grammatical errors, or any outdated contact information. Also, verify the security of any websites you are posting to, so you can be certain your resume is being placed into good hands.
2. Confirm Who You’re Dealing with
Craigslist is a phenomenal search tool. It’s free, easily accessible, and it’s updated all the time with dozens of local job opportunities. The only downside is the lack of stringent security, an obstacle which makes it easy for disreputable employers – or worse – to take advantage.
Craigslist is still a worthwhile resource, provided online visitors remember to:
- Limit the amount of information they exchange with a potential employer
- Ask for credentials (e.g., a specific contact’s name, direct phone number, company address and website, etc.) before providing any proprietary info, and
- Avoid providing social security numbers, payment info or personal references until they have a verifiable reason to do so.
3. Don’t Believe Everything You Read
In the digital age, it’s easy and helpful to find out more about a potential employer by way of Google, Yahoo or any other search engines. Doing so might also help you prepare for your next interview. That said, be mindful of what you click on, and where you go to find good information.
There’s almost no way of verifying the source of any anonymous comments posted to a message board or online forum. The same goes for user-generated/crowd-sourced rating sites like Glassdoor; sites where a handful of employees who’ve had a negative experience might drag down a company’s reputation considerably. It’s best to remember people are generally more motivated to relate negative experiences than they would be positive ones. Use a potential employer’s company website as a primary resource. Beyond that, always consider the source.
Remember, Brandford’s Career Services office is also a great resource for students who are starting their job searches.