Beacon Features: Students beware of online scams while job searching

This article first appeared in The Beacon student newspaper on March 2, 2009.

By Eileen Louissant

As Palm Beach Atlantic University students work toward their dream career, they struggle to find the “perfect” job in the meantime. With a broader horizon for job hunting, finding oneself on the Internet diving deep into endless lists of jobs may be the only way of satisfying hope to actually finding a job.

There is a new concern that has students worrying.

“I think a student should always be cautious when searching for work online,” said Sara Nicastro, career counselor at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

With websites such as Monster, Career Builder, or Craigslist, job-hunting seems simple.  Job searching through the Internet is more convenient but also provides greater chances for fraud.

“On an open access website like Craigslist there is very little protection or offer of security for either party,” Nicastro said. “At PBA, we refer students to the College Central Network.”

Palm Beach Atlantic University has a contract with the CCN and monitors the registration of both students and potential employers.

“It is, of course, still not 100 percent secure but it is safer than some of the alternatives,” said Nicastro.

Alumna Katie Yount admits to sending her resume over email while using Google and Craigslist before she found her jobs as a nanny and a waitress. Phishing is also an issue students may come across while searching for jobs online.

“Phishing is the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft,” according to webopedia.com.

Students need to be cautious about the information they give out online.

“If you are worried about the security of your information on your resume, consider limiting the amount of information you provide in your heading,” Nicastro said. “Instead of listing your name, physical address, e-mail, and phone number, consider just listing your name, e-mail and phone number. They still have a way to contact you, but you are slightly more protected.”

Knowing what to look for and how to spot a scam will always help in conducting a safe job-hunting experience online. Students can visit the College Central Network at: http://collegecentral.com/pbacareers.

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