Thanks to Bisharah Saeed for contributing this article!

Jobs and connections. These two words are common on posts, status updates, and every other possible text you can think of, especially during this lockdown period. With the economic crisis and many facing unemployment, these situations call for staying active on job hunting platforms like Linkedin or Glassdoor. But the hard truth is that despite the whole world experiencing a crisis requiring us to help each other out, people are cheated and taken advantage of regularly on these job hunting platforms. Here are some common signs of illegitimate job postings to watch out for.

Fraudulent Recruiters

Fraudulent recruiters can go through extreme lengths to make their profiles seem legitimate. They will usually claim to represent a well-established company and can even have a matching LinkedIn profile. The biggest sign of false recruiters is that they will try to ask you for money – either as a deposit on your application or to even apply in the first place.

Example: I (Bisharah) had posted my CV on a job-hunting website. A couple of days later, I got a call from a person saying that he was representing the agency to which I had applied and told me that there were job vacancies, but asked me for money deposits for each round of the application process. The person who spoke to me claimed that he was the deputy HR of a reputed automotive company. So, I looked him up on LinkedIn and saw his current designation which seemed to match with what he said. But when I messaged him about this opening, I didn’t receive a reply and I haven’t till this date. So much for a job opportunity!

Bitcoin Specialists

Bitcoin specialists claim to be experts in bitcoin trading as an investment or financial advisor with the ability to generate millions in profit for you by investing a starting amount of say, $500. They are very persuasive and even show people proof of other people’s profits that appears to be authentic.

I am not saying that all bitcoin traders out there are fake or can’t be trusted; there might be legitimate ones too. But what I would suggest is never invest in something that you are unsure of, especially if it involves money.

"Comment Below"

This is not a scam but rather a phrase that should alert you that the person behind the job posting might not actively respond to you if you were to comment below. On LinkedIn, for example, it often says to comment on the post saying ‘Yes’ or ‘Interested’ with promises to look into your profile and update later. Several organisations do this. They just ask you to do it to increase their activity and outreach. A single like or comment can really spread the post across the network. But what do the people who comment get out of it? Nothing! If you check the comments section, you will often notice that the organisation doesn’t even reply to a single user about further updates.

Bogus Profiles

There are several ways to spot bogus profiles.

First, remember the phrase “too good to be true.” Profiles may contain the best work experience history and mostly center around helping people or building successful entrepreneurs around the world. Make sure to double check whether the profile is actually true.

Second, many bogus profiles will often have nothing personal in them: their bio will never contain phrases such as, ‘I am interested’ or ‘I look forward to.’ This is because many of these profiles are not written by actual individuals.

Third, look up the account picture through Google’s reverse-image search. Chances are you will find more accounts with the same picture with a different name or on other websites.

Fourth, check out the activity of the profile. Many bogus accounts will have 500+ connections but the posts that s/he shares will have just one or two likes. 

Quality, not Quantity of Connections

It’s important to aspire for legitimate connections. Many people try to increase the number of followers or connections on their social networking sites by connecting with anyone. It is important to understand that simply building your network won’t fetch you the results that you are looking for. Your connections and network need to be legit to achieve your goal. The easiest way to ensure this is to connect with people who work in your domain or at a company which you know or aspire to join.

Also, when it comes to liking, commenting, and sharing posts, make absolutely sure that you have at least some knowledge of what you are sharing. Because, if that post turns out to be fake or misleading, it can create a bad impression among your peers. 

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