If your search for a new job has dragged on for months - and if you're feeling pressured by your finances, friends or family - then you may convince yourself that any job is better than nothing. This is the black hole of job searching, and it's a horrible place to be.
The black hole is where job-seekers end up when they are willing to take any job that comes their way. If you fall into the black hole, you may ignore every single red flag that comes your way. Just about everyone has been there at least once in their life. Unfortunately, people in this position may be asked to send money to companies that charge fees for hiring processes, or, worse, unscrupulous entities may use information from applications for fraudulent purposes.
Being unemployed is tough, but knowing how to spot bad jobs or shady companies can save you even greater headaches in the long run. Here are three red flags that should send you running for the hills:
The Job Description Isn't Clear
Many companies are unstable and have trouble communicating, which can cause a big problem. If you walk into an interview at a company and are not able to get the same job description or duties from two people who are involved in the hiring process, be careful. If one person is telling you it's a product specialist position, then another is telling you it's a customer service representative position, and another one is telling you it's a marketing manager position, get out while you still can.
If there is uncertainty in what your role will be before you even join the company it will be impossible for you to be able to do your "job" and guarantee that the job even exists. Hold out for an organization that knows exactly what they need and are looking for and is willing to commit to that in writing.
You Can Work For Them, but First You Have To Pay a Fee
Any respectable company will never ask a candidate to pay any sort of fee. They are supposed to be looking for someone to pay, not for someone to pay them. If you have to pay a fee there are likely lots of other "candidates" that had to do the same and there's no guarantee you'll get a job. In fact, there's no guarantee that a job actually exists, it is likely just someone scamming people of money.
They Need Proof... Of Everything Imaginable
When you're going through the hiring process you naturally assume that the employers offering the position like and trust you. If they begin asking for proof of everything under the sun, such as pay stubs to prove your previous salary or a W-2 form, you should come to the realization that these individuals simply do not trust themselves to choose a good candidate. Any company who asks for that much information may be simply trying to steal your identity. Always verify if a company is legit before even going to a first interview.
Keep an eye out for those red flags and you will find a company that won't use you and won't scam you out of money.