Main image of article Use Caution With Anonymous Job Posts
Every so often, a tech pro will stumble upon an anonymous job posting. Is it worth applying for a position when you lack crucial information about the company? That depends on some key factors. Let’s break them down:

The Reason for Secrecy

Companies post jobs anonymously for many reasons. They might want to limit the number of applicants to a small, serious pool, figuring that an anonymous posting won’t attract the same amount of attention from job sites, message boards, and recruiters. Companies also use anonymous postings when they have a top-secret project in the works, and want to keep things (relatively) under wraps. While sometimes the company behind such a posting is glaringly obvious (“Tech company in Cupertino seeks experts in wearable technology”), in other instances it’s far more difficult to figure out who’s behind it (“E-commerce company in San Francisco seeks mobile developer”).

Play Detective

Anonymous postings that are too vague, full of grammatical and spelling errors, ask for money, or are clearly not aimed at your particular skill set aren’t worth your time (and might even be scams). A lengthy anonymous posting, on the other hand, offers loads of clues for figuring out the company behind it: In a small tech community, for example, there are only so many e-commerce startups that launched six months ago and focus on POS software. Figuring out postings from large companies is even easier, as many tend to use the same language and boilerplate in all their job postings, anonymous or otherwise: Googling text snippets can quickly lead to the firm’s name. Whichever HR staffer posted the job may also list his or her real work email on the application as a contact—and you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to solve that particular case.

Make Sure They Ask for Specifics

Anonymous postings must clear a higher bar when it comes to listing job requirements. Unless it's very specific about the type of person the company's looking for skills-wise, don’t waste your time applying; there are plenty of excellent companies out there that are more frontal about their needs. The same goes for location: Unless the posting lists the city where the job will take place, don’t bother—you don’t want to go through the application process only to realize the company wants someone to work 500 miles away from where you live.

Don’t Jump Through Too Many Hoops

It’s one thing to submit a resume to an anonymous company; it’s another thing entirely if the company asks you to complete all sorts of tests and tasks without officially revealing its real name and purpose. If the anonymous posting features too many hoops, be cautious—especially if it requests lots of personal information.