Do Your Research

by Meredith Winnett

As many of you know, I am officially unemployed. Scratch that, underemployed. I’m writing freelance for my local newspaper and I’m being trained as a bartender. I do love both jobs and am thankful that someone would hire me, but I should be doing more with my degree.

At one point a few weeks ago, I had 35 tabs open on my browser. All were jobs I wanted to apply for. As you can imagine, 35 tabs was overwhelming. So I applied for one after hours of searching and called it a night. To my surprise, they called me first thing in the morning for an interview.

Newspaper classifieds

Newspaper classifieds (Photo credit:

I was busy the next two days so I scheduled an interview for three days after the call. I was beyond excited! Someone was enthusiastic about me sending them a resume. That’s all I had done as there was no place on the form for a cover letter. They seemed genuinely interested in me.

The night before the interview, I began researching the company as much as I could. I scanned their website and their social media to see what the company was about. They seemed fun and appreciative of their employees. As a broke college grad, I did a basic Google search of their company’s salaries. What I found alarmed me.

The first three entries were “[Company Name] … Scam”.

What have I gotten myself into?

I read the articles which said they were not in fact a marketing firm, but people who sold cable packages door-to-door. The position was commission, and the second interview was “meeting clients”. Why would an interviewee be meeting clients? Then they said things about how the office environment was very unprofessional and other things like that.

People were commenting on the posts about how the job posting was very misleading. They thought they were applying for an actual marketing job but that’s not the case at all.

Then I saw the worst post of them all: There was an investigation of the legitimacy of the company by the state. Furthermore, they were found to be a scam in another state. So they changed their name and moved to another state. In the other state, they were filed under two different names. Many applicants were confused as to what the name of the company really was. So I looked closer at their website and there was zero information about their work and their clients. There was a ton about their charity work, and that’s great. But what do you actually do? That’s odd for a marketing firm.

Needless to say, this was a nightmare. I was about to travel an hour for a five-minute interview (according to the many negative comments) for a job I didn’t want. So I volunteered to take my dog to the vet that day so my parents wouldn’t have to skip work.

Lesson learned. Lesson shared: before you apply to a company, do all the research. Make sure it’s somewhere you see yourself working. Do not let a company like this take advantage of you because you’re applying to 35 jobs at once.

Have you had any similar experiences? Share your job search nightmares in the comments!


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