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Job Searches and Personal Safety

By Christine Johnson, Director 

May 2020

Thinking about personal safety may not be something that is top of mind for everyone when applying for a new job but it is important to consider for job seekers. 

Late last year, the media warned the public of human traffickers using “job postings” as a way to meet potential victims. As someone who works with youth and frequently supports them when looking for employment, I felt it was necessary to not only warn those who I work with directly of these dangers but also my greater community.

The following tips have been shared by Consumer Services of Ontario and Employment Ontario (the links can be found at the bottom of this post) about how to keep yourself safe while looking for work.

1.     Be suspicious

Always look into companies that are hiring. A quick look on your favourite search engine will let you know if the address, email or phone number connected to the job posting is correct or if it is phony. Don't be scared to call the company and verify that they've posted a job on whatever job searching site you've chosen. An employer won't be upset with someone for being proactive and protecting themselves.

2.      Don’t meet potential employers offsite

If you're unaware of the location the hiring personnel is asking you to meet them at, or you know the location and don't feel safe attending a meeting there, let them know and ask if there's a different, perhaps more populated location for the two of you to meet. Physical safety is always important; think of what time of day you're meeting; is there proper lighting; is there transit or parking nearby so your vehicle is close; is it highly populated or a frequently attended location (will there be other people near)? These are all important questions to ask ourselves when meeting new people in general.

3.     Never share personal information without doing your research and signing a contract

Things like your mother's maiden name, your SIN number and your birth date can be used by scammers to access your personal information, including banking information. Keep that information private until you're sure this is a safe and viable work opportunity.

Finally, two additional tips from Consumer Services of Ontario: 

- Be wary of anyone guaranteeing or promising you money.

- Don't sign a contract until you fully understand it and have a personal copy for your records. 

It is my hope this article has been helpful and useful for your future job searches. Please check out the links below for more information on different types of fraud and how to report a fraudulent experience:

·      https://www.ontario.ca/page/report-scam-or-fraud

·      https://www.ontario.ca/page/employment-ontario