Don't be deceived. The internet is a massive source of often free information. It is an amazing database particularly in a job search and even on the staffing and recruiting side. With such easy access to information, there is cause for concern as to what information YOU have made public.
Do you know what information is helping employers find you? Do you know if you have information out there that could put you and your safety at risk?
The Ultimate Job Search Safety and Success Guide is less of a guide and more of a brief reality check. Why? The key to a safe and successful job search lies in common sense.
Privacy and Your Job Search
Privacy is important to most people even though younger generations tend to be more lenient with what information they make public. There are certain details that you may be withholding that will open more doors for you.
For example, do you leave your address off your resume completely? Employers are more likely to toss resumes that look incomplete. From their perspective, you may not be local or you may be expecting a telecommute opportunity when it isn't. Instead you can maintain your privacy by listing your geographic location using just your city and state.
There are some details employers really don't need to know and, frankly, may hurt your chances of being asked for an interview. Details like your age or date of birth, ethnicity or nationality, religious or political affiliation, or sexual orientation could give employers a reason to discriminate against you. To avoid being charged with these offenses, they would rather just throw out your resume.
This is another good reason to leave a photo off your resume as well. You can easily avoid discrimination by monitoring what information you give to employers on a resume.
Privacy and Your Online Job Search
Now, let's talk about your online job search. You are likely browsing and applying to online job postings, but what you're not actively doing makes a huge difference too. Did you know that 93% of recruiters and employers are likely to look at a candidate's social profiles?
This isn't a scare tactic for you to go and hide all of your information online. Start getting strategic. You should adjust your social profile privacy settings to hide your photos and inappropriate content such as rants about an employer or swearing.
You could also share industry news and trends to encourage a discussion with others connected to you online. Doing this publicly will give employers an idea of how knowledgeable and interested you are in your field.
Safety and Your Job Search
There are several safety tips out there which are just plain common sense. If you're walking door-to-door handing out resumes, you'll be handing your contact information and personal details to strangers.
Omit details that could pose a security threat to you on your resume. For example, don't list your social security number or your entire home address. Even if the business owner is trustworthy, he or she may not shred your resume. You never know who may be sifting through the trash looking to steal your identity.
Safety and Your Online Job Search
The most popular job search trend is uploading and emailing your resume to recruiters or employers. Another popular trend is posting a profile or personal website with your skills and experiences in detail.
When uploading your resume to job boards like Monster or CareerBuilder, you're launching your personal details to the world wide web. This is another great example of when not to list your entire home address or any additional information that could put you in danger if in the wrong hands.
Another aspect to consider is when you email your resume to strangers, you can take a couple precautions:
- Make sure the email address has a business? (Ex. firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Search for the email address using Google. Do the results link to a person or mention a scam?
- Visit the business URL. Does the business URL belong to an established and trustworthy company?
When called for an interview from a job posting online, research the business online. Does the address you were given belong to an established business? Does the company come up on search engine results with mentions of a scam? Are you being asked to meet at a location other than the business location?
When driving to an interview, make sure to let someone know where you are going and when you are supposed to be there. If you are walking into a dangerous situation, making sure someone is aware of your location is a great way to help protect yourself. If possible, give this person the name of the company and an estimated time when you will let them know you are leaving.
Another common security risk with an online job search is exposing your computer or device to viruses. Make sure your virus software, malware, and the like are updated. Also never open an email with a suspicious email address or scam-like subject line. Be aware that email hackers can pose as recruiters and employers to steal your information.