7 Red Flags That a Job Posting Isn’t Right for You

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — There’s only so much time you have in a given week to search for jobs, so don’t waste it responding to bad job postings.

“You really shouldn’t spend much time applying to job ads anyway,” says Robert Hellmann, a career coach with The Five O’Clock Club, who urges job hunters to focus on networking and attending events offline. But when you do respond to job postings, it’s important to make sure the posting is good enough to justify the time it takes to apply. Otherwise, Hellmann says, you’ll spend hours tailoring your resume and cover letter only to end up in a headhunter’s slush pile – or worse, ending up the victim of a scam.

Here are seven job posting red flags that suggest that a position may not be right for you after all.

There is no email address provided.

The best job postings are the ones that include a name and personal email address for the hiring manager or human resources person handling the application. This way, you can look up that individual and personalize your application to him or her.

Unfortunately, many postings just provide a generic company email (jobs@companyX.com) or conceal the email address altogether. In rare cases, Hellmann says obscuring the name of the recipient can leave the job applicant vulnerable to scams because it’s harder to vet the posting. What’s more likely though is that your application ends up in a pile somewhere.

“If you are not clear who it is, often it’s a headhunter. So you will spend all that time applying for the position only to end up just another resume on file, and there is a 0.01% chance they will contact you,” Hellmann says.

That doesn’t mean you should never apply to a posting with a generic company email, but if you only have an hour to respond to a job posting, your best bet would be to pick one with a personal email address listed or else to dig around online for another contact at that company.

There is no specific position mentioned.

Sometimes the goal of a job posting isn’t to fill a specific position so much as to gather up a pool of resumes to reference for future job openings. The easiest way to tell is to look at the wording of the job posting. Is the company describing one particular position or a skill set that it is looking to fill?

Jennie Dede, the vice president of recruiting at Adecco Staffing U.S., offers the following classic example of the latter: “Local company has numerous Web developer positions available. If interested, please submit resume and we will call you with more details.”

Again, it may still be worth applying to the position at some point just to get your resume in their system when a position does become available, but if you’re hoping for a job in the immediate future, this probably isn’t right for you.