On boards like Craigslist, it can be difficult to distinguish the difference between authentic job postings and sketchy, vague postings. Sorting the good from the bad is not always easy, but the following tips can aid you in your job hunt.
Look for a Company Name
More than likely, if the position does not include the company’s name, it is because they do not want you to do any research and they may have a bad reputation. There are plenty of exceptions to this rule, however, so if the rest of the posting seems fine, it may be worth applying anyway. If the name of the company is included, do research on sites like GlassDoor to see what other interviewees and employees think of the company.
Scan for Mention of Pay
Be wary of positions that seem commission-based – it could be a sales position where you must buy the products first without any guaranteed pay. If you are hunting for an internship, be aware that if there is no mention of pay, it is probably unpaid. While this is not in itself an indicator of a good or bad internship, some exploitative positions are under the guise of an unpaid internship.
Vagueness is a Red Flag
In general, if the position sounds vague or is not detailed, then that is a bad sign. A legitimate position usually includes a job description and possibly a company background. If the description is only a few lines long with no real indicator of what the position accomplishes, proceed with caution.
Use the information you have to conduct your own research. If the address, company name, position title, or any other key information is included, you can usually find some additional knowledge through searching online. With more data, you can make a more informed decision on the validity of the position and company.
After taking time to weed through the junk listings, it is possible to find excellent positions on Craigslist. Remember, if you are uncomfortable meeting someone in person, it is fine to back out or bring a friend, and always exercise caution with listings from the internet.