Red flags to look out for during a job search

It's currently a tougher economic climate--and therefore, a harder job market in quite a few industries than in the past.

If you're in certain lines of work, it can be hard to find a job. But does that mean that you should be attending every interview and jumping at every job? Not exactly.

Before you apply for a job (or agree to attend an interview) you should do your research. Who would you be potentially working for? What are the company's reviews? If alarm bells ring, you might want to think twice before investing your time. IIE Rosebank college alumni thought they had a lead on a good job, read below their experiences and learn from it:

Noxolo Mndebele an IIE Rosebank College Alumni

"My experience in job hunting was eye-opening and at times bitter because of how emotionally draining they can be.  This gave me a "push" to learn more and grow resilience. As promising as it was to get the interviews, it was financially draining considering travel costs to get to the offices. I had to dig deep in my pockets and sacrifice some things just to make it to the interview.  The other difficulty I experienced was the lack of market rates for jobs that interested me. It made vulnerable to "exploitation" with little compensation".

It is important to note that a RED FLAG is a cautionary warning to look out for to avoid possible danger. A red flag is not necessarily a definite indication of foul.

Dineo Mokgobi a career centre coordinator with some tips on what to look out for when job hunting:

  • Receiving an interview invitation via SMS prompts you to call a cell phone number provided, usually claiming to belong to an HR Officer to confirm your availability for an interview.
  • The date for the interview is scheduled so early as not to allow you time to realise that you are about to be scammed.
  • Receiving a lengthy email informing you that you have been successful with your job application. The email usually is very detailed and has a sense of urgency to accept the offer consisting of your salary and benefits to entice you to act to their instructions. You will then be required to sign and send back the offer letter together with an amount that is "supposed" to be for uniform, police clearance certificate, or any other important reason.
  • Unprofessional communication with spelling mistakes. If the email has some inconstancies with grammar or the arrangement of the words does not seem to make a well-informed sentence you might want to do thorough research about the company, the sender as well as the existence of the position.
  • The company requests you to send confidential information such as tax numbers & bank confirmation letters before you have gone through the hiring process of interview and job offer.
  • Missing contact information of employer or company. An email coming from a legitimate company will have the sender's contact information as well as the company name and address. If you receive an email without these details try and search the company website to find basic information about the company location, staff members, and their email addresses to match them with the email you have received.

     If it doesn't feel, sound, or look right. It usually isn't. Trust your instinct and do your research.

Dear IIE RC alumni, beware and take care. Complaints have been climbing during the pandemic when it comes to fake job offers and scams that involve paying upfront for equipment and supplies that are supposedly needed to do that new job.


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