Exposure is key when looking for your next position, but is there such a thing as too much exposure? When it comes to your privacy, there certainly is.
In such a competitive job market, concerns about privacy generally fall to the bottom of the list for most job seekers. During the search, you’re too busy looking anywhere and everywhere for a position to even consider that our information might be used against us.
Your privacy is at stake during your search for a new position. Although we’ve be conditioned to carefully distribute our information online, job seekers tend to throw caution to the wind when it comes to employment applications and resume postings. The fact of the matter is that your job search often depends on the distribution of relatively private information to a variety of different sources.
Identity theft, fraud, and job scams are very real and dangerous possibilities that many job seekers fall prey to. When utilizing the Internet for your job search -- which is more common than not nowadays -- it’s important to understand what kind of schemes are lurking out there. And while most feel that they are immune to scams, all kinds of job seekers are still being taken advantage of.
Verse Yourself in the Warning Signs
No one enjoys keeping a guard up during their search, but it’s best to stay vigilant when it comes to your privacy. Here are a few warning signs to look for when considering your privacy:
Job listings with poor grammar and misspellings: No worthy employer has a job posting riddled with mistakes.
Paying money upfront: Paying for training fees is very rare, and if so, it’s usually not brought up directly in a job listing.
No available company information: Do not apply to postings that do not provide a company name or email. On occasion, scammers will borrow company names but lack the email address.
Requirements of personal information: Never give out your social security number or bank information on an application.
Protect Your Privacy
Before you call off your online-based job search and head for the hills, keep in mind that there are many ways you can protect your privacy during your search. In fact, many of these things are easily overlooked:
Secure login: Only fill out online job applications that provide your browser with a secure login feature. This generally shows up as “https://” prior to the website URL. Also, your login information should always be quite different that the information you use on other sites.
Alternative email address: For security reasons, and simply to cut down on the clutter, many job seekers dedicate an email address specifically to their job search.
Show caution when listing your home address: While it’s often necessary to use your home address on your resume, it may be safer to rent a post office box to use during your job search.
Contact directly: If at all possible, contact the the company and submit your materials directly to the hiring manager.
Keep track: It’s common to post your resume freely during the job search, but this is can be dangerous. Keep a list of everywhere your resume is posted, along with your username and password.
Sharing information: Never share information with a potential employer before you feel assured that they are legitimate. Do your research!
Be conscious of your level of privacy throughout your search for a job. Look for warning signs that could potentially lead to privacy infringement, as well as doing your best to combat any opportunity to put your information in justice.
Have you ever been faced with the threat of privacy infringement?
Amit De is the CEO and Co-founder of Careerleaf, an all-in-one job search platform that cuts the time to apply in half. Connect with Amit and Careerleaf onFacebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.