If you’re like most job seekers, you spend hours searching for, identifying, and applying to jobs that seem like a great fit for your skills and experience. Most of the time your resume and cover letter disappear into the “resume black hole” with no response or feedback. Sometimes when you do hear back and go through a round of interviews, the job or company really is too good to be true! In both cases – you’ve wasted valuable job-seeking time.

If only there were a way to know which job postings had the best potential for success?

While our recruiters know of no guaranteed solution, they can suggest a few red flags to be aware of when reviewing job postings:

    • Details about the position, requirements, or salary are lacking. This usually indicates that there is not an actual position. Rather, the company is using the posting as a way of collecting resumes for future positions. It’s not always a bad thing to respond to these kinds of posts – especially if you are a freelancer. However, if you’re searching on a deadline – you’re better off applying for something more targeted.


    • The job description doesn’t match the title or the job pairs two skillsets not normally found together. When companies are asking for unrealistic or hard to find skills, it usually means they either don’t value those specific skills in the business (and therefore don’t understand what’s required for certain positions) or their budgets are too tight to allow for more than one position (and this person will be called upon to wear many hats within the business). Candidates should consider the effects of work environment and ability for growth in organizations like these.


    • The job is older than 30 days or is constantly reposted. This can indicate the job is not a high priority for the company (and they are in no rush to fill it), there is a high turnover at the company (requiring them to refill the job often) or the job has already been filled (and not removed from the company website). None of these reasons is good news for a prospective candidate.


  • The job description asks for sensitive information. Before you provide your Social Security Number or Bank Information, be sure you are considering a legitimate company and providing the information through a secure talent management solution. You have enough to worry about when searching for a new job. Don’t add identity theft to the list!

While one or two of these red flags don’t necessarily mean something is wrong with the job, the more you see in one job, the less likely you are to find a successful match.

Jess Bedford, for Artisan Creative