How to ensure a website is legitimate when job searching
It's important not to trust everything you read on the Internet and to be careful about which information you use. On the Internet no quality checks are required so anyone can publish anything they like!
Why does the quality of information vary so much?
- Anyone can put something on the Internet - an idiot or an expert
- Information or job advertisements can be posted from anywhere in the world - be it the United Kingdom or Uruguay
- They can say anything they like - true or false
- They can leave an advert up as long as they like - even if it goes out of date
- Or change it without warning - perhaps even remove it completely
Remember, some adverts will be posted purely for the purpose of identity theft. Stay vigilant and make sure that the company/agency is a legitimate business before sending your CV. Consider the following options before deciding to trust a recruitment website:
- The author's name
- The name and location of the organisation publishing the information (Is it local, have you heard of the organisation, will it be relevant to you?)
- The About Us section
- The Contact Details (address / email)
- The URL
Considering the URL
URL stands for "Uniform Resource Locator" and is the Web address of the page you are accessing. You'll usually see one at the top of your browser when you have a Web page open. They look something like this: http://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/index.aspx
here are some very important clues in the URL which can give you clues into the reputability of a job search site.
You can often find out more about the nature of the organisation that owns the server from the organisation code. For example:
- .ac, .edu academic or educational servers
- .co, .com commercial servers
- .gov government servers
- .org non-governmental, non-profit making organisations
Note that different countries can have different codes for the same type of organisation. For example, a university server may have a .ac code in the UK (ac is short for "academic") but a .edu code in the USA (edu is short for "educational").
You can also find out more information about the country in which the server is based from the country code. For example:
- .au Australia
- .ca Canada
- .de Germany
- .fr France
- .uk United kingdom
Note however, that a country code will not always be included in a URL. Many American sites for example, will not have the country code (.us) in their URL.
By not considering these options, and sending your CV to the wrong website you are putting yourself at risk of Identity theft and Recruitment scams.