Ethics and Employers
For many students, dealing with employers during an internship or job search is a novel experience. Sometimes it seems difficult for students to balance their enthusiasm and professionalism with being educated, aware, and safe jobseekers. Although the employers who work with mavjobs.com and the MSU Career Development Center are obligated to follow our [PDF] Employer Terms and Conditions (269 KiB), you may be contacted by other employers during your job search. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure that you are treated in an ethical manner by employers.
- If you haven't posted your resume or sent it anywhere, be wary of phone calls from employers saying that you've been selected for an interview. Just like when someone calls you to say you won a prize you never entered to win, you may want to be concerned about ulterior motives.
- If you did not contact an employer, ask them where they obtained your name and contact information. If it is from a referral, get the name of the person who referred you. Ethical employers will be able to give you this information.
- If an employer calls you, obtain the name of their organization. If you aren't clear which organization is calling you, ask the person to spell it. Get the person's name (first and last), phone number, and location of their organization. Again, ethical employers will have no problem giving you this information.
- Remember your personal safety. Don't meet with an employer at your home or another place where you might be alone.
- Be wary of paying any fee for employment opportunities to a recruiter, website, or company. Many times the services provided are available elsewhere for free. If you are wondering if fees are appropriate, contact the MSU Career Development Center.
- Before you accept a job offer, you have a right to be clear about what is involved in the job opportunity. Is there a charge for training? Do you need to purchase a sales kit? Is there a salary or is it strictly commission? You can ask for time to think about a job offer.
- If you have concerns about an employer, please contact the Career Development Center. We can assist you in deciding how to handle a difficult situation.
As a job seeker, it is important that you act in an ethical manner as well. Your behavior in the job search process not only reflects on you as an employee with this employer, but also can affect how other employers view you in many tight-knit industries. The actions of one student can sway how an employer views all students at MSU as well. If you follow these tips adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), you will be representing yourself and MSU well in the job search process.
- Provide information that is accurate, including academic information, volunteer and school involvement, and your work history.
- Only accept interviews with organizations which you want to work for. Employers do not appreciate wasting their time with practice interviews, and you are taking a slot from another qualified candidate.
- Arrive on time for your interview, and only cancel in an emergency. Let the employer (or your career center if you are interviewing on-campus) know as soon as possible if you have a problem with keeping your interview appointment.
- Accept a job offer only when you are serious and intend to work with that company. Backing out after accepting an offer can be costly to employers AND to your reputation in an industry.
- Withdraw from the recruiting process once you have accepted an offer and your job search is complete.