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The list below does not necessarily mean the position or company is not legitimate but it should cause you to do deeper research before proceeding. You might want to use this checklist as a way to screen postings/employers.

How They Contacted You/Want You to Contact Them (BIG RED FLAGS)

  • You receive an email from someone you do not know. It may even appear to come from a student's school address.  
  • The posting forwarded to you says to use your personal email to respond and not your school email.
  • They email you at your school email address but ask you to email them from a personal email to try to avoid the school's spam filters.
  • The employer uses a personal email account to communicate.  Be leery of those wanting to communicate on Google Hangouts, Skype, or through text. 
  • You did not apply for the position (this may happen but it is best to call the company to make sure it is a real person). Tip: be careful what information you post on job search sites. Even legitimate sites can have scam job postings.
  • Contacts you via LinkedIn, or another social media outlet (While this can be legitimate, you should always try to call or email the company’s Human Resources department, to find out if they really have such a job opening and, if the name of a recruiter is given, ask if that person really works for them).
  • The organization uses street canvassers.
  • The employer uses an e-mail address or website that may look legitimate but differs slightly from the real organization's e-mail address and/or website (one letter off).  The phone number or address does not match the company. 
  • They use an atypical way to contact you or to conduct the interview. An email should be reaching out to you via a professional email or phone number.

The Recruiter (BIG RED FLAGS)