4 Ways To Spot A Good Job Opportunity From A Bad One

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On the job search, it can be difficult to determine good job opportunities from the bad ones–especially when limited information is available.

So how can you recognize a good job offer or job posting from a bad one? Here’s what several experts had to say:

1. Direct Contacts Matter
I like it when I see there’s an actual name attached to the job listing that you can email and reach out to rather than an hr@xyz email address that likely serves as a dumping ground for resumes. Direct contacts matter and with names attached especially, it gives you an excellent opportunity to Google the person beforehand, find out how long they’ve been at the company, whether they have a prolific Twitter account you can message, and begin putting together a more personalized cover letter.

– Heather Taylor, social media manager, MyCorporation.com

2. Check Offers Against Your List Of Needs
Know your own “personal” criteria. This is your confidential stack rank of your needs: money, commute, benefits, etc. Write them down prior to your search and check the offer against them.

– Dana Manciagli, Author of Cut the Crap, Get a Job (Spring 2013)

3. Candidates Should Only Apply For Positions With Clear Job Descriptions
A position with an unclear or muddled job description is unlikely to result in a good workplace environment. Companies with a good idea of exactly what employee they’re looking for will be a better place to work. These companies will have specific job-related questions to ask you in the interview, whether it’s in person or through video. Good job descriptions will be less likely to result in a job where your duties go far beyond what you initially signed on for.

– Josh Tolan, Spark Hire

4. Look For A Paper Trail
With established companies, their brand name tells you what you need to know – IBM isn’t a fly-by-night operation. But if you’re getting a job offer from a startup or overseas company, be sure to conduct due diligence. What comes up about them online? Have they filed the necessary paperwork (such as incorporating in the state in which they claim to be based)? Who is funding them? Have they been written about by reputable members of the news media? Make sure there’s third-party validation before diving in.

– Dorie Clark, Author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future

What other tips should job seekers keep in mind when looking researching new opportunities?

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is the founder and president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. You can connect with Heather and Come Recommended on Twitter and Facebook.

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