Internet use is rapidly becoming a necessity when searching for that perfect job or career – but how much information is too much and how can you keep your information safe from identity theft while getting that dream job? In this article read about the do’s and don’ts for posting your resume online.
Hundreds of thousands of people use the internet everyday to assist them in locating a job and hopefully a career. In the hopes of finding the perfect job employment assistance websites such as Careerbuilder.com; Monster.com and Yahoo HotJobs, just to name a few, are accessed every day. People post their resume on their personal website; they submit to recruiting companies, employment services, and prospective employment business sites as well as in some cases use their college’s employment assistance program. Others post employment information, curriculum vita, resume, on line through their employer such as a university; their business or medical clinic homepages to assure prospective clients, students and patients of their qualifications. But how safe is this practice?
Online fraud is one of the most common sources of identity theft according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Privacy advocates, Better Business Bureaus and Employment professionals state that job boards are the biggest source of information for identity thieves. While prospective employers maybe looking for a specific profile, so are prospective identity thieves.
Don’t think that identity theft can happen to you, just for posting your resume online?
“Jim” responded to an email request from an individual identifying himself as a human resource specialist with a leading company in his field. He did some cursory research, and it appeared to be legitimate, so he went ahead and responded with additional information, such as a more complete copy of his resume, including references and reference contact information, his date of birth and social security number, supposedly provided in order to complete a background check. A week later he called the telephone number listed, and it had been disconnected. He called the company direct and found that no one by the name he provided ever worked there, and that they company never requests personal information until they are made an offer.
“Candace” was contacted by three different “companies” requesting additional information to be used to complete the application process as well as to perform a background check. In doubt, she contacted her BBB, and found out that these companies and techniques were well known and common fraud information gathering techniques.
Even movie star Will Smith and former NBA player Steve Smith have been victims of identity theft, by the same thief.
How can your resume help identity thieves? Access to your resume is like hitting the lottery jackpot for identity theft. In many cases it provides your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, schools attending and when, as well as references information. In some cases all that is missing is a Social Security number, and that can be found out through a variety of methods.
In this age of technology, almost every major employer utilizes some form of job database, online employment assistance, on line application process to assist them in finding qualified candidates for employment. So how do you safely use the internet to find a job, while still giving employers the information they are seeking.
First, rewrite your resume, using a functional resume, instead of chronological. Here are a few do’s and don’ts
Do not include your address, include a work location, which could indicate you already live in that area or are willing to relocate.
Do not include dates of employment or graduation; simply indicate educational experience such as BS from University of Smart Resumes Online.
Do not “copy and paste” your regular resume into a comments section of an application or online service.
Do not provide references and references contact information; you may be putting them at risk for identity theft.
Do not include: SSN, date of birth, home telephone number or personal email address.
Do create a job search email address, which does not use your name.
Do use your cell phone number or even purchase a prepaid cell phone system while you are conducting your job search. After verifying that it is a legitimate contact, then use your personal cell phone number for future contacts.
Do state work experiences, indicating an overview of your experience and expertise such as “Financial Analyst.”
Research the online job service sites thoroughly. Be selective. Choose to submit your information only to those sites that have stringent privacy policies, or anonymizing services. Print out the licensing and privacy agreement, before agreeing to it and posting your resume.
When approached by a potential employer do not release your social security number, mother’s maiden name or any other information. Professionally explain that information is not relevant at this time, however if further in the application process certain information is required to complete a background check you will be happy to provide. Avoid vague offers or request for information.
Report inappropriate contacts or requests to the site utilized. Set your cookies to a high setting to decrease the ability for spyware, adware, or malware to access your computer. Install protection services on your computer and use them regularly. Keep a spreadsheet, database or list of services used, companies applied to and what information was provided. This may help you in the long term, with additional request for information, tracking your employment progress and determining where, if any, possible leaks of your information originated.
By taking these steps you can be a responsible employment seeker and a successful one, not only in obtaining employment, but in protecting your personal, financial and credit information. Remember identity theft does not only involve your credit, a person may even apply for and get your job, using your own information. It’s your resume, make sure it’s also your job.