Tuesday Career Advice: Make Protecting Private Information Online a Priority.

Searching for jobs and posting resumes online are primary reasons to disclose personal information over the internet. Many candidates recognize the importance of reporting complete and accurate information when posting a resume online, yet are concerned that disclosing this information ultimately exposes them to identity theft, solicitation and other fraudulent activities.

Online job boards are a great source of career information and opportunities. However, job seekers need to be confident that their personal information is secure and is used for legitimate purposes. As a job seeker, there is a tough balance between protecting private information and marketing yourself online. It is best to learn how to manage these risks.

Here are several precautionary steps that can be taken to protect private information:

    • Do Your Research.
      Make sure to review the site that is requesting your information and read the privacy policy before agreeing to submit your information so you understand how the information will be used.
    • Revise Your Resume.
      Before distributing a resume online, job seekers should make sure that their resume isn’t revealing too much personal information. Social security number, birth date, bank account number, marital status and mother’s maiden name should never be included on a resume.
    • Conduct a Background Check.
      It is important to occasionally perform a background check on yourself to help identify inaccuracies that may have occurred at some point from any inappropriate use of private information.
    • Create a Separate Email Account.
      Set up a dedicated email address specifically for your job search. This will help protect your privacy, as well as keep track of job search correspondence and applications.
    • Report Scams.
      If you see a suspicious job advertisement or e-mail message, or think you were a victim of fraud, immediately report the incident to the authorities or job board.
      A common scam that is happening right now is an email that is sent from “an employer” telling the candidate that they saw their resume on “insert name of the job board here” and we’d love to offer you a job…The first sign that this is a scam is that they’ve never met you and they’re offering a job right off the bat. They’re simply trying to legitimize their offer by using the name of a well known job board. If you see messages like this, report them.
    • Protect Your References.
      It is best not to include names and contact information for references on your resume, which could potentially put personal or professional contacts at risk. Typically employers do not need this information until after an interview.

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