If It Seems Too Good To Be True…

A megaphone in a yellow icon symbolizing hype; changed due to image standardization. Source: Wikicommons library

I come across a lot of these during my job search. It’s not surprising I get these often since the algorithms for determining valid Email addresses are approaching Skynet proficiency:

SUBJECT: Job opening.

FROM: HR MANAGER (email omitted)


Looking for a job? We have an opening for a Coordinator in your area.

Salary: up to 50$/hour


– Support customers;

– Manage payments;

– Organization of fiscal documents.


– Excellent computer skills and proficient in excel, word, outlook, and access;

– Excellent communication skills both verbal and written;

– Excellent interpersonal skills and a collaborative management style;

– Ability to look at situations from several points of view.

We have a trial period, so you can decide if this job is a good fit for you or not.

APPLY NOW: (Email omitted)


(contact details omitted)

I spotted several suspicious points in the Email:

#1: The wage is shown in the offer. Even with an out-of-the-blue job offer like this, it’s bad form to mention details about the wage or salary.

#2: The wage is $50/hour. For a coordinator position.

Assuming the following is true at the time of writing this post:

  1. The rate is  in US dollars.
  2. My last full time job was in I.T. and I earned $60,000 a year (Canadian dollars) including overtime for project work. One Canadian dollar is worth $0.76 US which means my annual salary was $45,600 US.
  3. Because that job gave me paid holidays, and using the website convertunits.com to convert from an annual salary to an hourly rate, I earned an equivalant of $21.84/hour. US. Yes, I got benefits but that does not change the formula that much since it was only 80% coverage and the most I used my benefits for was for dental work.

this would mean I would earn double the hourly rate I used to get, for less work. Either my last employer paid me poorly (which is debateable), or this hourly wage in the offer is bogus (which is extremely likely if not an exaggeration).

There’s also that “up to” part that implies it can be variable. You know, like a sales commission would be variable.

#3: Word, Excel, and Access are not capitalized. That is a big red flag for me. Most individuals I know would capitalize, and it’s a stunning lack of business professionalism if a company referred to Excel as  “excel”: the former is a product name and the latter is a verb.

#4: Job description is very vague. Support customers doing what? Answering customer service inquiries? Handling complaints? Being a strong shoulder to support them while they are putting on their shoes?

#5: The name of the company is very close to that of a very well known financial firm. Yes, I did omit the name but trust me, it’s very close.

#6: The offer states that there is a trial period to see if the job is a good fit for me. A trial period in itself is not suspicious. New hires always go through a trial period but it’s at the employer’s benefit, not the employee’s. To let the employee decide if it is a fit implies it might be a job the person will neither benefit nor enjoy doing.

#7: The opening is supposed to be in my area (which could be either Toronto or Kitchener) yet the head office is in INDIA with no mention of branch office addresses anywhere else. Just a telephone number.

This sounds like a gig where you run your own business using your own personal space and resources.

Sorry, not interested.

Thanks for reading!



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