thought of posting your resume online and exposing yourself to hundreds
of thousands of Internet users give you white knuckles? If so, your
fears are founded. According to the FBI, identity theft is the number
one fraud perpetrated on the Internet. So how do job seekers protect
themselves while continuing to circulate their resumes online? The
key to a successful online job search is learning to manage the risks.
Here are some tips for staying safe while conducting a job search
on the Internet.
If you are considering posting your resume online, make sure the
The policy should spell out how your information will be used, stored
and whether or not it will be shared. You may want to think twice
about posting your resume on a site that automatically shares your
information with others. You could be opening yourself up for unwanted
calls from solicitors.
your resume just as easily as you posted it. You won't necessarily
want your resume to remain out there on the Internet once you land
a job. Remember, the longer your resume remains posted on a job
board, the more exposure, both positive and not-so-positive, it
2. Take advantage of site features.
Legitimate job search sites offer levels of privacy protection.
Before posting your resume, carefully consider your job search objectives
and the level of risk you are willing to assume.
CareerBuilder.com, for example, offers three levels of privacy
from which job seekers can choose. The first is standard posting.
This option gives job seekers who post their resumes the most visibility
to the broadest employer audience possible.
The second is anonymous posting. This allows job seekers the same
visibility as those in the standard posting category without any
of their contact information being displayed. Job seekers who wish
to remain anonymous but want to share some other information may
choose which pieces of contact information to display.
The third is private posting. This option allows job seekers to
post their resumes without having it searched by employers. Private
posting allows job seekers to quickly and easily apply for jobs
that appear on CareerBuilder.com without retyping their information.
3. Safeguard your identity.
Career experts say that one of the ways job seekers can stay safe
while using the Internet to search out jobs is to conceal their
identities. Replace your name on your resume with a generic identifier
- Confidential Candidate
- Intranet Developer Candidate
- Confidential Resume: Experienced Marketing Representative
You should also consider eliminating the name and location of your
current employer. Depending on your title, it may not be all that
difficult to determine who you are once the name of your company
is provided. Use a general description of the company such as:
- Major auto manufacturer
- International packaged goods supplier
- Confidential employer
If your job title is unique, consider using the generic equivalent
instead of the exact title assigned by your employer.
4. Establish an email address for your search.
Another way to protect your privacy while seeking employment online
is to open up a mail account specifically for your online job search.
This will safeguard your existing email box in the event someone
you don't know gets a hold of your email address and shares it with
Using a dedicated email address specifically for your job search
also eliminates the possibility that you will receive unwelcome
email solicitations in your primary mailbox. When naming your new
email address, be sure it is nondescript and that it doesn't contain
references to your name or other information that will give away
your identity. The best solution is an email address that is relevant
to the job you are seeking such as email@example.com.
5. Protect your references.
If your resume contains a section with the names and contact information
for your references, take it out. There's no sense in safeguarding
your information while sharing private contact information for your
6. Keep confidential information confidential.
Do not, under any circumstances, share your social security, driver's
license, and bank account numbers or other personal information,
such as marital status or eye color. Credible employers do not need
this information with an initial application. Don't provide this
even if they say they need it in order to conduct a background check.
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book -- don't fall for it.
Most legitimate employers don't do background checks until they
have met with you, conducted an extensive interview process, and
decided you're the ideal candidate. Even then, you need only provide
limited information. Contact an attorney if you still have concerns.
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