In their rush to get their name – and resume – out into the job market many job-seekers overlook the importance of protecting their personal privacy while they are conducting their job search, especially when they are posting resumes on-line or interacting on Internet job sites. It is however important to understand the best way to protect your personal privacy in the job market while still standing out to all the right people.
Why is Protecting Your Privacy So Important?
The standard version of your resume probably includes your full name, home address and your phone number. Very personal information. You would never post that kind of thing on your Facebook account because to do so would be very dangerous, giving out your exact location to thousands of strangers, so why would you do so on an Internet job board? Not only are there stalkers and spammers to worry about but that amount of personal information is often enough for clever thieves to steal your identity.
Using an Internet Resume
When posting resumes on-line you should always make use of a cyber-safe Internet version of your resume. This document is basically the same as your regular resume but omits identifying details like your address, your personal email and your personal home phone number as well as the actual names and locations of your past and/or present employer.
Choose Where You Fill Out Applications Carefully
In many cases these days the job application process begins on-line. And often that means submitting a great many personal details, even more than you would usually include on a standard resume.
Avoiding these kinds of applications altogether to maintain your privacy may be difficult for many job seekers as there may be no alternate way to declare their interest in a certain position. You should however be very cautious in this situation.
Before you fill out any employment application try to Google the company involved to make sure it is a reputable one and that it even actually exists. Unfortunately in this day and age just because a job opening is listed on a well known job board like Monster.com does not mean it is a legitimate one.
One concern that many job seekers quite rightly have is that many online job applications, including some posted by very large and well known corporations, require an applicant to divulge their social security number on a first application. In reality there is no real reason for this information to be shared prior to an interview but still the practice continues. If you are given no option but to reveal your social security number on an online application then make a careful note of the date, time and Internet address at which you did so in order that should disaster strike you know where it may have occurred.
Be on the Alert for ID Theft Scams
Posting fake job opportunities and accompanying applications as well as email and telephone “recruiting” in order to trick hopeful and honest job seekers out of their personal information remain favorite tactics of savvy identity thieves.
Online you should exercise caution everywhere you surf but be especially wary of postings on free to list sites like Craigslist and Backstage. These ads are not regulated in any way at the time a user posts them, and although Craigslist now charges a fee to post
job openings in some larger cities, $25 is a very small price to pay for a scammer who can potentially get their hands on hundreds of different people’s personal information in this way.
Telephone ID scams are just as prevalent. Unfortunately these people get your phone number from your online resume as well as a good idea about your experience and what kind of position you are seeking. Therefore it is very easy for them to pose as potential employers or employment recruiters and sound very plausible. Banking on the fact that lost in their excitement about being contacted about a job that a job seeker will freely share all kinds of personal information, these scammers can steal a person’s whole
identity in just a few minutes.
Genuine employers and recruiters will hopefully call you and sometimes as a result of having seen your resume online. Before you give out any information to any such caller though ask for a telephone number where you can call the person back in just a few minutes, stating perhaps that you have another caller on the line or that you are experiencing bad cell phone reception.
This will allow you to ensure that the person is calling from where they claim to be as well as a few minutes to do a quick reverse phone number check at a site like whitepages.com. If the caller refuses to give it to you or insists that they must speak to you now and now only it is a fairly safe bet that they are not on the up and up.