When job seekers are out on their own and sometimes do not think long enough before they jump into an opportunity, that might come few and far between, it can sometimes backfire and in turn hurt them emotionally and financially. These are some tips to read about some of the jobs out there that aren't worth pursuing.
1. Unpaid internships with small companies who have no brand. Unless they are partnered and can offer credit for your university, I would avoid the unpaid internships. Remember when Kramer in Seinfeld had an intern at his company Kramerica? My point exactly.
2. Buzz marketing outfits: These companies constantly need agents (who end up being gullible consumers) to receive samples & coupons to give their friends and employees. You can have people sign up through the website...they don’t get money or anything; just free stuff to give people!
3. Promotional marketing companies: the employers give out sample coupons door-to-door and earn a profit off of consumers purchasing these coupons to events, like baseball games. The catch is that the coupons aren’t affiliated with the event sponsor and thus, do not work. Avoid being a scam artist without knowing you’re a scam artist!
4. Work-at-home scams: You’ve probably seen an ad on CareerBuilder that says "$10,000 a month working part-time from your home", "Help wanted to work from home and make $1000/week" or "Internet advertising company needs people who want to earn $5000 or more a month, part-time!" Stay away from anything that’s too good to be true, because it probably is too good to be true.
5. Companies that make you pay application fees. No companies charge you to work at them, so why would you think that was a normal practice?
6. Mystery shopping scams: Some mystery shopping places are legit (see list on the Mystery Shopping Providers Association), but some will ask you to handle money on your own by using fake checks from the company in place of your own cash, only AFTER you’ve spent your own cash!
7. Companies asking for your credit card information, personal pin numbers and any extra personal information via email. You know better to not buy into this trick, so know better to not get caught up working at one of them.
8. Jobs that ask you to pay them for training at companies that aren’t certified. It’s one thing to enroll at a community college for some trade certification or rapid learning course, but it’s another to only communicate with an educational class via email and then to send them money for the paid-training and learning materials. I would research schools to see if they are a qualified online training institute such as the University of Phoenix Online among others. While U of P is good online training, beware of the others that have made a business taking advantage of internet learning. You don’t want to lose out on some hard-earned money that you desperately need.
Tip: Check out businesses at the Better Business Bureau’s website (BBB.org) or run a Google search of the company name and see if any search results yield the word “scam” or “fraud” in the context, if you are unsure about the company’s practices. Bottom line: if it’s easy, it most likely isn’t going to pay off. You need to work hard to garner success.