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How to Research a Company Before You Apply for a Job

Here are three ways to sort through scams when searching for a job.

From the description, the job sounds absolutely wonderful. It aligns perfectly with what you’re planning to do in your career, offers the perfect mix of work-life balance, and has a handsome salary to boot! So naturally, you’re suspicious that this could possibly be a job scam and you’re wary to send in your job application. Here are three ways in which you can research a company before you apply for a position.

1. Search the site

Virtually every company has a website. So search to see if it has an online presence. You want to make sure that the site is fully fleshed out and is not just a simple website, or worse, just a one-page place marker. Ideally, the site should have at least 5+ pages and include an About Us page that fully explains the company’s history, goals, and mission statement. There should also be a Contact Us page that links to a real phone number and email address with the company’s name as part of it (not a Gmail, Yahoo!, or other personal email address).

2. Get social

In addition to its website, a legitimate company should have a strong social media presence. As part of your job search, make sure that the company has, at the very least, a Facebook company page, Also search for a verified Twitter account, a LinkedIn page, a Google+ page, and possibly a Pinterest or Instagram account, depending on the nature of the company. Once you find those links, look through them to make sure that they are fairly up to date; if the last time the company updated its social media pages was two years ago (or if there is only one posting or tweet), it could be a sign that the company may be a scam.

3. Search for scams

Speaking of scams, it’s a sad fact that for every one real work-at-home job, there are about 100 job scams. And as a job seeker trying to find a job with a flexible schedule, you’ll need to be more aware of these scams. One of the best places to find out if a company is legit or not is by visiting the Better Business Bureau. There, you can find out if complaints have been filed against the company or certain individuals.

Before applying for what seems like the job of your dreams, it makes sense to take the time to verify if the company (and the job) are both legitimate. That way, you won’t waste your time applying for positions that are fake and can concentrate instead on creating a great job application for those that are real and will guarantee you a great job in the future.

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