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Watch Out for These Red Flags in Job Descriptions

Job searches often get frustrating. Feelings of demoralization can lead you to attack any potential position, no matter how unpromising it seems. But don’t get desperate. Watch out for red flags in job descriptions and stay away from scams and other wastes of time.

Unemployment represents a scary time in any worker’s life. Given the current economy, most people jump at any glimmer of opportunity. After all, government statistics indicate that, as of December 2020, the average length of unemployment came in at nearly 23 weeks. That’s five months of worry and self-doubt.

No wonder people start chasing questionable situations. Still, it pays to stay vigilant. A shady job posting can only waste valuable time and lead to disappointment down the road.

How do you avoid these traps? It’s crucial to watch out for red flags in the job description.

Here are a few common ones to keep in mind:

You Aren’t Qualified

There’s a certain logic to applying for every position, even if you’re only vaguely qualified for the job. However, stretching your credentials too far just ends up wasting your time. Make sure you meet the minimum requirements for the position.

Vague Language

After reading the job description, you should have a rather specific idea of what the position involves. If not, that’s a red flag. Going in, you should understand the scope of the role and the skills needed to succeed.

A lack of clear details doesn’t mean you should instantly disregard the opportunity. The description might just be poorly written. But vague language could also indicate an unfocused organization or a potential bait-and-switch recruiting effort.

Scary Culture Clues

No company will overtly say in a job description, “our culture is trash…you’ll hate it here.” Still, you can get hints from the job description. Look out for comments suggesting an exploitive culture (“we’re looking for a 24/7 hustler”) or other unappealing expectations.

On the other side of the issue, focus on descriptions that taught a welcoming and diverse culture. These companies will likely offer a pleasant work environment. These clues about the corporate vibe will allow you to focus your resources most effectively.

No Company Details

Imagine an online dating profile with no picture and no details about who the person is. How excited would you be to meet them for dinner?

The same principles hold when it comes to your job search. Be wary of anonymous postings. The job description should let you know information about the employer. This lets you conduct the appropriate amount of research. If those basic details aren’t included, you should get your guard up.

Overemphasis on the Future

You want any position to accelerate your career development. Still, you need to balance future growth with near-term concerns. Helping to build a startup can present an exciting challenge, but you can’t ignore your current needs.

A job description too focused on a bright future might only provide hype and unfulfilled promises. Stay cautious of an overemphasis on what might happen down the road.

You Get a Bad Feeling

Sometimes a red flag doesn’t come from a single item. It appears as a result of the general feeling you get from the job description. In other words, a bunch of little things add up to make you suspicious.

Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, you should move on to other opportunities.

Wading through job descriptions is a frustrating, time-consuming task. Why not let an expert handle that chore for you? That’s one of the benefits of a strong staffing firm, like SmartTalent. They can find you the perfect positions for your skills and background.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.


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