Remote Work & Culture

Remote Job Opps: How to Spot What’s Real and What’s Fake

We once ran a poll over on the Instant Teams Facebook page to explore what key factors hold our talented community back from applying for a virtual job opportunity. And, unfortunately, the top response didn’t surprise us one bit.

Curious what it was? Check this out…

It’s difficult to tell the legit jobs from the scams. 

So with scams, limitations, and unfamiliarity often ruling the world of flexible, remote work, how do you know where to put in time and effort, and how do you quickly assess red flags?

We linked up with Blue Star Families for a Networks Live! On Demand event to talk about it all. And here were our favorite tidbits to hopefully help guide a successful remote job hunt:

Scammers seek out military spouses. 

They know it’s not easy to find a job or career that fits our nomadic lifestyle, so they look to make some quick cash or steal identities at the expense of those who’ve already given so much to their country. The Better Business Bureau even wrote an article on this topic, stating that employment scams are the number one riskiest scam type for military spouses and veterans.

How can you spot these scams in a crowd of job postings?

  • There are many grammatical errors in the job posting or your back-and-forth communications. Should you be communicating with a legit HR professional, you probably won’t encounter numerous misspelled words or phrases. If you do, this is a classic sign of a scam.
  • A Google Hangouts chat interview is requested immediately versus a scheduled phone or video call. You’d probably encounter this on large job boards or LinkedIn. Someone may reach out to you whom you’ve never had any contact with regarding a position you’ve never applied for, and ask you to hop on a chat. During the chat, they’ll ask you for extremely personal information. Huge red flag! On the other hand, here at Instant Teams, we do almost everything through video. It allows us to show that we’re a legitimate company and to ensure the potential client or candidate on the other end is, too.
  • You’re asked to dish out money upfront to purchase the “necessary” equipment for the job. Run. But in all seriousness, if you’re asked to write a check, purchase gift cards, or transfer money to an account for computer or home office equipment, cut ties immediately.

Still questioning the legitimacy of a remote job opportunity?

  • Put on your detective hat and do some digging online. Search the company name, the HR contact’s name, and any other questionable details. You want to be diligent here as scammers will also steal the identities of hiring professionals or organizations.
  • Ask a friend or family member to check it out, too. We need to have each other’s backs. When you have a second set of eyes take a look at the opportunity, you safeguard yourself against a scam even more. Who knows, they might catch something suspicious that you didn’t!

You can find a real remote position that works for you. Here’s how:

  • Think about whether or not you’re considered an introvert or an extrovert. Many extroverts may feel stifled in a remote position because they love the interaction and traditional team vibes they receive at a 100% brick-and-mortar organization. Though, there are many co-working spaces out there that can provide you what you need! Ultimately, determine who you are and how you work best for success.
  • Know what you want to do before seeking virtual opportunities. When you really spend time thinking about this, you’ll ensure you don’t limit yourself to positions that you might be overqualified to take on.
  • Understand that remote/virtual/telework still means a traditional work environment. You just do the job from home (or wherever your virtual office may take you). So it most definitely requires structure. You’ll need to have a routine and set boundaries.
  • Create (or update) your profile on Instant Teams. And begin your remote work journey. When we search the Instant Teams talent community to fill a remote team position, your profile is the first thing we see!

To watch the full Networks Live! On Demand event, click here.