There are many pitfalls out there for anyone who is looking for a new job. The internet age has made it easier than ever to find and apply for work, transforming us all into footloose and fancy free workers rather than people who stay in one job for life, but it’s also made the process more complicated than it needed to be. It’s dangerously easy to go down the wrong path while job-hunting, so you need a map to help you.

That’s where this new flow-chart comes in. It’s been created to guide you through the process of identifying whether a job is worth applying for, based on whether it could be one that’s been left up after being filled by a recruitment agency wanting your information, a potential scam, or just a job that would be a nightmare if you actually got it. Whichever it is, you need this chart to help you avoid it.

Recruitment agencies are a fact of life when applying for jobs and there’s many out there who will help you through the process with the full intention of getting the right people into the right jobs, but there’s also the other kind. So if you see a job posted by one of them that’s been online for more than four months, be very wary of applying, because this could just be a CV-harvesting exercise that will waste your time and energy for a job that’s long gone.

One principle that sadly rings true almost every time in the job market just as much as anywhere else is ‘if seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true’. So if the salary being promised comes across as a lot for what the role seems to be involve, you need to ask yourself why that is, and it’s probably not because it’s your lucky day. Be wary of any jobs that need you to ring a premium number or talk over instant messenger, because these are most likely scammers.

It’s not just fake jobs that you need to watch out for when hunting for a new opportunity online. We’ve all had awful jobs, so clearly we need to get better at identifying them. Sometimes the clues are right there in the job description.

Are they saying you’ll need a ‘good sense of humor’? That’s probably because you’ll either laugh or have a breakdown while dealing with the stress of the job. If they need you to be ‘flexible’, you can bet you’ll be staying late, a lot.

These are just some of the red flags for you to look out for while job-hunting, so make sure you keep this chart handy to help you avoid taking you career on a wrong turn next time you’re after a new start.

How to Decide Whether to Apply for a Job? | CareerMetis.com

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James Ellaby is a freelance writer, journalist, content marketer and researcher working on behalf of NeoMam Studios. Connect with him on Linkedin