Here are some common pitfalls to avoid when looking for work:
Research the job and the company
- Visit the company's website and if they don't have one or it doesn't fit with how they describe the company, consider that a red flag. How professional is it? Is there contact information? Are jobs and career information posted on the site?
- Use search engines to research the company. Search by the company name (if the company won't give you a name, don't bother applying) to see what information you can find. Take it one step further and search by "company name scam" to see if you can find information about reported scams.
Do not pay
- Do not pay money - for anything. Legitimate employers don't charge to hire you and do not ask for any upfront fees. Do not send money for work at home directories, advice on getting hired, company information or for anything else related to a job.
Do not give personal information
- Never give an employer your personal financial details until you actually start the job. Do not give out other personal details, such as your national insurance number and date of birth to an employer or recruitment agency until you have a legitimate job offer.
Forget getting rich quick
- Avoid listings that guarantee you wealth, financial success, or that will help you get rich fast. Stay clear of listings that offer you high income for part-time hours. They will do none of the above. Be careful - if it sounds too good to be true it usually is!
- Never dial a premium rate number (prefixed 070 or 09) to find out more information about a job vacancy.
- Don't agree to continue an interview over drinks or a meal, even if it seems to be going very well.
- Don't let the interviewer direct the conversation towards personal subjects that have nothing to do with the job.
For more advice about worker's rights and employment queries you can also contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 03454 04 05 06 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm