Blind Ads

Some ads are “blind”–the employer’s name isn’t given. To find out what company is behind a blind ad, copy and paste the firm’s description from the ad into a search engine, such as Google, suggests Randy Cyr, a vice president in the Wellesley, Mass., office of Gilbert Tweed Associates Inc., a New York-based recruiter. (At most search engines, you can put quotation marks around a phrase to get results with the exact words in between.) The company’s Web site will likely be among the top results, because many recruiters copy a firm’s description from there when writing job ads, Mr. Cyr says.

If the initial page of results doesn’t lead you to the right place, “you’re probably not going to find it,” he adds. Apply only if you’re 100% sure the ad wasn’t from your current employer or one where you’re already a candidate. “You want to err on the side of caution,” he says.

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