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  • Ann Willets

How to Avoid Recruiting Scams


I’m a recruiter, but like many of you, I continue to work in the PR industry as a freelance PR specialist. Lately, I receive more unsolicited recruiter spam as a PR professional than ever before. Unfortunately, the tremendous number of layoffs open the door to scammers who know people are desperate for work.

If you’re looking for work, be on the alert for the red flags many scammers present. I can think of a few that tell me to steer clear of these spam job offers.

First, if you receive a job offer from a “recruiter” who doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile under their name, this is a huge red flag. Any credible PR recruiter is working through LinkedIn or is at least searchable.

That said, it's usually a good sign when a PR recruiter shares connections with you. I probably share relationships with you from inside the PR/Marcom industry. Our industry, especially in the tri-state area, is not vast.

Check for industry (in my case PRSA) affiliations. I’m a member in-good-standing of PRSA, and the same should hold for your recruiter-in-question. PRSA membership is as basic of an expectation for PR recruiters as it gets.

If a job offer takes you to an external link, don't click it! For example, those that say: "For more info, click here!" When I post job offers on LinkedIn boards, I won't take you to an external link. The information I provide from the get-go is right in front of you or sent via email. If you ask me for a job description, I will provide my Gmail and real job description. Again, without external links.

Know this, however. My searches are confidential. I won't tell you who my clients are. Why? Because not everyone plays by the rules. Until I vet you, I won't take the chance that you'll go behind my back and submit yourself directly. By the way, if you do, chances are you'll fall into the black hole of HR and will miss out on my ability to front you in. Plus, I'll never work with you again.


The bottom line is due diligence. Watch out for scammers who are searching for personal details. If you do your homework and familiarize yourself with your industry's recruiters before working with them, you'll gain peace of mind and side-step the many traps laid out for job seekers on the internet.

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