How can I avoid getting scammed at the first job application?

Greetings, Codecademy Community

I’ve finished the Computer Science Path and I’m halfway through the Data Scientist path and now I’m excited that soon I will eventually finish the course and start looking for work but I am wary of getting exploited or not getting what I should be getting.

I discovered a youtuber who always posts about corporate exploitation of coders and one of the things he said was that even as an entry-level job you shouldn’t accept jobs that don’t pay correctly and there are different red flags to watch out for.

Also, I have a family member who does graphic design online. She told me that I should look not only at job postings but also at freelancer postings, the ones where freelancers are offering their services and what they charge, but that I should not treat as a relevant comparison for myself the postings of white males since those people will get payed more than the rest. I am a guy living in the Philippines and I believe my written and spoken English is fluent.

Is it true that there are a lot of exploitative job postings and what are your opinions on what the red flags are? What rate should I definitely not settle for? And is the fact that I am a FIlipino male and not a white male a definitive factor?

P.S. My plan though is to initially do a little free work for portfolio-building purposes
PPS. I have a 5-year undergraduate engineering college degree from my country and I dont know if that possibly can influence my rate in the online job market

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Look at sites like Glassdoor where current and former employees review companies they work at/worked for. You can view salary & benefits info as well as interview info, etc.

As for scammy job posts–this rule holds: if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Stick with credible sites like LinkedIn, remote.co, FlexJobs, WorkingNomads, AngelList, etc, etc.

I would also ask before you start applying for jobs—do you have a GitHub account & portfolio/website of your work? Are they linked on your resume? Potential employers want to see what you can do, not just read words on a resume. That said, do you have a decent resume? Do some research how to write an effective and clear resume or have a professional service re-write your resume for you. There are several out there and they might cost a little bit of money but it’s worth it.

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I have a github account but I don’t have a portfolio or a website. Before I start looking for work, I do plan to build up some kind of a portfolio/website and proper branding/marketing of myself. Also even make a youtube channel.

I’m planning to use LaTex to make my own professional looking resume template rather than shelling out money for one. That way the resume becomes a demonstration of my skills using LaTex.