The Student Success Centre strongly encourages students to thoroughly research companies to ensure that they make well-informed employment decisions.
Learn how to protect yourself and identify potential problematic job postings.
Safe Job Searching:
Look at the company website: Match the job description and company website. Is there contact information? Are jobs and careers information posted on the site? Is this a third party recruiter hiring for this company?
Look at the job details: If the company doesn't pay an hourly rate or a salary, carefully investigate the details.
Be Realistic with Pay: Sometimes it really is too good to be true; for example: "An office clerk, no experience needed, and $25/hr."
Be Wary of Generic emails: Be cautious of recruiters who use non-organization e-mails to respond back to you; for example: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conduct some research: Understand which types of jobs are recurring as scams and which strategies are used.
Some employers offer entrepreneurial/franchise opportunities. You should make yourself aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of work.
Applying for the Job
Understand which fees you are responsible for: Legitimate companies do not ask you to pay a one-time or upfront fee.
Example: Application processing fees, Information package, Visa fees (overseas)
Understand types of money scams:
Example: Acceptance of a money transfer where you can retain a portion as 'payment'. (see more below)
Never send your bank account or credit card details to anyone that you do not trust.
Beware of products or schemes claiming to guarantee income and job offers requiring an upfront fee or sending money through a money transfer service.
Career Counsellors are available at The Student Success Centre if you’re unsure about a job posting
Understand which questions are valid and which aren't: you can deflect these types of questions casually and professionally.
To learn about 8 types of "illegal" interview questions and how to avoid them, check out this link: www.talentegg.ca/incubator/2010/07/16/8-types-of-illegal-interview-questions-and-how-to-avoid-them/
Interviewers cannot ask direct questions regarding:
Place of origin
Source of income
Be comfortable with your interview location: If you feel uncomfortable with the interview location (for example: a non-commercial aparetment), you can request a mutually convenient location, like a coffee shop.
Get your employment contract in writing: Get a copy of the employment contract with the placement firm, and read it carefully. A legitimate company will give you time to read the contract and decide, not pressure you into signing then and there. Make sure any promises — including refund promises — are in writing.
The “employer” is seeking assistance while they’re out of the country. The student is sent a cheque to deposit in their own bank account and is instructed to make purchases and send them to the employer’s location. The cheque amount will be for much more than the purchases so the student is told to return some of the remaining money via money transfer and keep a portion as pay. Later the student will find out that the check is counterfeit and they have lost the money spent on purchases and transferred.
Be suspicious of people willing to hire you without meeting in person
Ensure that you have a work contract which outlines how and how much you will receive in wages
Your personal banking account should never be used for an employer’s business transaction
The "employer" asks the student, in order to secure his/her position, he or she must go through a course to be qualified. The student is asked to pay a fee for the course and its materials, and sign a registration form during the job interview. The student will find out later that the employer never sends out any material to him/her, and will not refund the money nor providing a copy of the contract
You should not have to pay for training required for a new job
Don’t feel pressured to sign any document without having the time to review and understand its contents and your responsibilities
The "employment agency" contacts the student who may have posted his/her resumes online or with a job search engine. The agency then invites the student for an interview and promises an employment with good salary. The student is pressured to sign a contract and pay an administration fee or a fee that the student will be refunded later when he/she is hired. Later on, the student never hears back from the agency or he/she will be given a list of referral companies that have never heard of the agency before.
If you choose to use an employment agency, research their practices and reputation before signing a contract
Employment agencies and Recruiters don’t usually receive payment until someone has been placed or a position is filled
The "employer" promises a job in a foreign country and the student is invited for an interview in a hotel suite or rented office. The student is then told that he/she must pay a fee for visas or paperwork up front. In some cases, the employer asks the student to send money for an "information package" to secure the promised foreign job. Later on, when the student receives the package, it only contains a list of company names.
If you choose to use an overseas employment service, research their practices and reputation before signing a contract
Do independent research about requirements of working abroad. you can start with these resources.
Find out about more employment scams here: Employment Scams (Consumer Protection Ontario)