Online Job Seeker Cheat Sheet
Updated on July 13, 2021: From now on, traffic filtering, malware protection, and suspicious DNS activity blocking are available as a part of the separate DNS Firewall app.
Job searching can be an exciting step in your career. Perhaps, you are full of knowledge and experience gained from your previous positions, and feeling ready for more challenging and exciting tasks. Or maybe you are fed with your current trade and itching for something completely new and different. Or, you may be searching for your first occupation, not exactly self-confident but ready to prove yourself to the world.
However, job hunt might also get quite daunting at times. Interviewing takes an indefinite amount of time, during which you somehow have to combine the search with your current work. A conscious job seeker will also perform due check of the potential employers and their offers, which is a complex task itself. Uncertainty and nervousness add their share to the overall anxiety of the process, too.
Things to consider
It gets much easier when using the internet to search a job. But this also applies the need for certain precautions while doing so. We’ve drafted this job seeker cheat sheet to help applicants stay secure online while hunting the job of their dreams.
- If it sounds too good, it’s probably because it is
Human beings are prone to believing in miracles. That’s why when we see a job offer promising mountains and marvels, some of us may fall for it. Alas, vacancies like “no skills, easy tasks, big pay” or “from zero to hero with … (insert company name)” end up some shady business at best, or just downright scam 99% of the time.If you are still tempted to at least give such offers a try, always check the employer online. And if you end up on the interview, ask them uncommon, professional questions – about your future responsibilities, how will your work results be measured, what penalties and for what offenses they practice, etc. This usually helps to evaluate the credibility of the company inviting you.
- Know what information you share
In the wake of the recent Facebook data privacy scandal, it becomes especially obvious that your personal information has long become a mere merchandise. Every piece of information about you has its price, its bidder, and little to no regulations in terms of potential use.
At least, large data aggregators like Google and Facebook are restricted from sharing your data with third parties. But no such restrictions threaten small-scale data-selling scammers. That’s why you should be especially aware of what information you share with potential employers. It’s not uncommon for HRs or other workers who have access to your data to sell it, either in secrecy or in collusion with higher ranks.
To secure your privacy while searching a job, double-check that the information you are required to share is either publicly available or absolutely necessary for your position. Use a Virtual Private Network, like VPN Unlimited, to protect your data on the early stage of employment negotiations. Also, be mindful of giving away sensitive information about your previous company, as some data-diggers might be more interested in it than in you per se.
- Know what they know about you
Kind of on the heels of the previous section, this too is about your personal information. But this time, you’re not the one sharing it. You see, any job seeker will be happy for the whole hunting process to be over quickly. This of course makes them assume that the same is true for employers as well. So when the process keeps dragging on and on, this raises a natural question – “why?”.
Usually, it is a thorough background check that is taking so much time, and there is nothing wrong with that. But then you learn about corporate workers blocklists. It is a really shady practice where companies within the same industry, sometimes with the help of third parties, create a shared list of “troublemakers”. In other words, of workers who voice their concerns about abuse or violations, or otherwise argue with the superiors.
In this situation, such workers are either declined the job or are kept pending until they decide to look elsewhere. So if your potential boss keeps telling you the background check will have to take a bit longer, recall if you’ve had any clashes on your previous position. Perhaps, you will dodge a bullet by not applying to a company that pursues a policy as nefarious as worker blocklisting.
- Use reliable job sitesFinally, you should not underestimate the importance of where you seek. Job sites come in various flavors, and obviously have different target audience. For instance, with www.usajobs.gov you are more likely to find a Federal Government job, while www.indeed.com or www.monster.com offer a broad and less specialized selection.
Sites like jobs.usatoday.com imply strict job offering rules so you can be a bit more certain about a potential employer. Or you could resort to professional networks like LinkedIn for modern and less conventional types of occupations. Whatever options you choose, don’t forget about the aforementioned advice on conscious distribution of your personal information.
We hope this small checklist will make your job search easier and that you will only remember the excitement of this process afterwards. Life teems with opportunities, we only have to reach out to them!