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Job Hunting Scams

Job hunting? Stay alert to resume formatting scams.

To find the job of your dreams, you need a well-crafted resume, right? Unfortunately, according to recent Scam Tracker reports, con artists have devised yet another way to trick job seekers out of money and personal information. If someone asks you to pay to reformat your resume for a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS) during your job search, think twice before you agree. This scam is convincing because many companies use software to automate resume reviews.

How this scam works

A headhunting company contacts you that found your information on LinkedIn or a job search website, claiming you are an excellent candidate for a well-paying position they are looking to fill. But first, you must send them your resume and do a virtual interview.

The request seems reasonable, so you email them your resume. Shortly afterward, they contact you, letting you know they received your resume, but their ATS system doesn’t accept it because of formatting. So now, the “recruiter” directs you to a website where you can get the resume reformatted.

You visit the website, where you find out you’ll need to submit personal information and make a payment for the service. If you accept, you’ll receive a “formatted” resume that doesn’t look much different from your original, if you receive anything at all. The formatting service is a dishonest scheme to get your money and personal details. The job you’re applying for doesn’t even exist.

How to avoid similar scams: 

  • Research the job offer. If you get a job or interview offer, especially one that sounds too good to be true, research it. Visit the company website or call them to see if a job posting or opening exists. If a third-party headhunter contacts you, research that company or service. Look for any reports of suspicious activity or scams. If you need help finding a legitimate website or contact information, think twice before you message them back.
  • Never pay to get a job. If someone says paying for resume formatting will guarantee you a job, or even just paying a fee in general, don’t believe it.
  • Guard your personal information. Don’t be quick to share your details. Scammers may insist they need payment information to fix your resume or bank details to set up a direct deposit before you’ve even interviewed. These are common scam tactics that put you at risk for identity theft.
  • See the full article on BBB.org for more tips.

For more information

Read up on other common job scams, including a job scam that uses messaging apps. You can find more helpful information at BBB.org/AvoidScams.

If you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. By registering your experience, you can help others avoid falling for the same scam. Want more of these emails? Subscribe to BBB’s weekly Scam Alerts.