With sexual assault at the forefront of our nation’s collective consciousness, protecting oneself from danger is more important than ever.
Finding a job can be a stressful enough task by itself and making sure you’re safe while doing it can add to that stress immensely. Taking certain precautions can save you from a bad situation.
For Rebeca Ramirez, a senior mass communication major from Las Vegas, the job hunt almost became something much more sinister.
“I found an ad on both Indeed and Craigslist, so I applied through Indeed, since my resume was already on there,” Ramirez said.
After a successful round of interviews, she was offered a job and asked to meet her new employer at his house to help move some furniture over to the place of business.
“I felt weird about it, so I talked to my roommate and we looked him up,” Ramirez said. “We found out that he’s a registered sex offender with at least two open cases against him here in Washington County.”
Ramirez didn’t go to his house and instead called the cops who told her that there wasn’t much that they could do as he hadn’t yet broken any laws in his dealings with her. They encouraged her to contact them at the first sign of any other inappropriate behavior.
“It was really scary,” Ramirez said. “I had given him my resume, which has all my information — my address, phone number and everything.”
Ramirez encourages all students seeking work to be cautious while they search.
“You have to protect yourself… I know we like to trust people, but it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Ramirez said. “This guy is still advertising for work. He can go out and do this to any other person.”
Brent Jones, a local contractor with over 20 years of hiring experience, said if a situation sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“If the pay sounds too high for the work involved or the position’s description is too vague, that should raise some red flags,” Jones said.
Predators may use job listings as a way to lure potential victims into compromising situations. Jones said using good sense is important.
“Don’t go anywhere too private with a potential employer,” Jones said. “Professional interviews should take place on the property of the business during business hours.”
Jones said job sites like monster.com and indeed.com should be your first resource for online job hunting, but some local places only advertise on Craigslist.
Ensign Gerry, a freshman music student from Auburn, Maine, said in his experience, Craigslist is the first place to go.
“I don’t really know where else to look,” Gerry said. “I’m sure if I really branched out I could find other sites… Craigslist is just the more common one everyone uses.”
If you feel weird about a person or a situation, make sure to involve someone else.
“Tell a parent or a roommate,” Jones said. “Make sure they know what’s going on, where you’re going and when you’re going to be back. If something feels really off, bring someone with you and have them wait outside.”