3 Things to do before applying for a job

3 Things to do before applying for a job

It happens to the best of us. The rush of adrenaline you get when you see that perfect job notice. This is the one you’ve been waiting weeks, perhaps months, to find. Your talents match the job description hand in glove, with just the right balance of education and experience.

Before running out to get that knock ’em dead outfit for your inevitable job interview, take a closer look. There are three important things to consider before sending your resume.

  1. Research the company

    What do current employees think of the company? Check out sites like Glassdoor or Indeed to see specifics on hiring practices, perks and potential problems in the workplace. Take heed if you see any similarities from review to review, especially if the issue spans more than one of the company’s departments or branches.

    If you’re potential new dream job can’t be found on popular job review sites, thoroughly research the company’s website. Also, politely reach out to existing employees on social media, such as LinkedIn, for their valuable, first-hand opinions.

  2. Check for scams

    Scammers love to try and attach themselves to reputable companies, relying on status and brand recognition to lure unsuspecting victims. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it just might be, so dig deeper.

    Last year, I applied for an administration position with what looked to be a reputable company, agreeing to a rigorous screening interview via an online messaging service, as suggested by the company’s Human Resources representative. Upon my completion of their testing, the HR representative’s reply was brief but encouraging, saying that the company would soon be making a decision regarding the opening.  Within a day or so, I again received a response from Human Resources, which stated how impressed they were with my interview answers and that they wanted to offer me the position!  Ready to celebrate, I happily received a couple of introductory emails with preliminary information about the company.  Also included were detailed instructions on how to send, via Western Union, a sum of money so that I could buy my “start-up equipment,” some of which had nothing to do with the job for which I had applied!

    Suspicious, I did some research on the specifics and it turned out that they were scammers who had assumed the identity of another company’s head of Human Resources with information swiped from LinkedIn. (The wording they used was strangely similar when I did some extensive Google searching.)  Any payments to the scammers were being funneled into a Western Union outlet in Los Angeles, hundreds of miles away from the company’s actual headquarters. Needless to say, I didn’t pursue any further communications with them. Instead I notified the real head of Human Resources to let them know they were being used in conjunction with an employment scam.

    Don’t let the promise of a paycheck lure you into a trap. Be wary of any request for money up front, or lists of needed tools that have nothing to do with the job for which you’re applying. Even if you have a keen eye for scam artists, remember that online fraud attempts are becoming more frequent and refined every day. Internet crime is a serious problem. If you ever encounter online employment fraud it can be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

  3. Consider commute time and working hours

    Committing to a new job means more than simply the nine-to-five hours the position entails. Remember to factor in the commute time and any possibilities of overtime. Is that daily commute a stressful and congested highway slog, or a beautiful drive through stoplight free country roads? You may be surprised to find that local public transportation can make your work day quicker and easier, too! Also, consider your lunch options. Are there a number of restaurants near your potential new office, or will you have to brown bag it, day after day?

Weigh all these factors so you don’t jump at a seemingly suitable job opportunity only to have to let it go in the coming weeks due to it not being a realistic fit for your lifestyle and career goals. Being discerning during the application stages is an excellent way to help you secure the position that you truly want.