Tips to Protect Your Privacy While Job Hunting

If you were not happy with the job that you are having, you would most likely be looking for a new job - either inside the organization you are working or outside. When you search for a job outside, the most convenient way would be through the online jobsites and placement agencies available on the Internet.

Before you go ahead and upload your CV on the jobsite of your choice, you will need to learn about how to protect your privacy. You would definitely not want everybody have access to the fact your CV has been posted online and you are looking for a job.

Neither would you like everybody to have access to your personal data. In order to prevent this from happening, you will need to take care of a few things:

  1. Use limited access feature - all the good jobsites would offer the feature of limited access to the CV. This means you allow them to see only the data in the CV, but withhold your name, phone, address, etc. until you make contact.
  2. Be organized - Ensure that you have a printout or a soft copy of the CV you have uploaded in every jobsite. This is very critical to your job search so you will know how to reply when the queries come in. Unless you know exactly to which job sites you have applied, you might be tempted to answer spam emails, which would announce job solutions for you. There a lot of commission-based-recruiters out there who would be watching out for any chance to use your CV and earn a commission.
  3. Use only reputed jobsites - do not go on a binge with the uploading of your CV. It is better to choose a handful good jobsites, than using 10-15 shady ones. Choose at leisure and upload your CV only after you are one hundred percent sure that the jobsite is secure and genuine.
  4. Never use automatic responders or distributors - The automatic things are fine most times. However, when it is about your job - you should rather respond on person-to-person basis. Using an automatic responder might generate a message to an employer (for example your current employer) that you would not really want to answer from your email and give away your identity.
  5. Similarly, when you use the automatic distributors your CV will reach in the email boxes of hundreds or maybe thousands of employers. Is that what you really want your CV to be? Junk mail? It is better that you focus on a few great industries and apply based on your preference, rather than indiscriminately to wherever the email list would take your CV.

  6. Avoid sites, which do not have limited access facility - When you upload on sites where limited access facility is not offered, you leave yourself wide open to anyone who accesses the jobsite. Are you ready to allow all employers to look at your name and coordinates? What happens if your present employer sees your CV on the jobsite? You might loose all your goodwill in your present job; you might even loose your job. Hence, the risk is too great to take. It is better not to use such a jobsite.
  7. There are four options in the limited access facility. You should be familiar with what each offers:

    1. Unlimited access - this is the most dangerous to your privacy since anybody can read your resume and can access your coordinates (name, address, phone numbers). It is best to exclude such jobsites.
    2. Restricted access - when you use this option, you would be allowing only prospective employers to see your CV. This too might not be a good idea if you are working - since your current employer might accidentally see your CV on the site and you would suffer the consequences.
    3. Semi-private access - this option would permit the recruiter/ prospective employer to read your CV, but have your coordinates withheld. If you were selected, based on your CV, you would receive a notification from the site advising you to contact your prospective employer, if you were interested. In this manner, your identity would be protected, while your CV would be available to the employers.
    4. Private - in this option you are not allowing anyone to look at your CV. Hence, the onus for finding a job would fall on the agent or assistant (provided by the online jobsite) who would match the requirement of the employer to your skills and intimate you when a match was found.
  8. Post only need-to-know information - no employer would need your Social Security Number (SSN) or the number of Driving License or Credit Cards, etc. Never give such information when asked over the phone or email. You should actually not give it even during an interview. The only time when you should provide this data is when you fill in the special IRS form - and this is after you already get the job. If anyone asks for sensitive information during background check, inform that you would provide the same in person in the office.
  9. Be very careful here as the majority of the identity thefts take place with the help of information that is obtained this way. Never feel intimidated about such requests; inform the person who approaches you that all such information would be given in person.

  10. The importance of reading Privacy Policies - there are many jobsites out there, which work like fly traps for email ids and sometimes even CVs. This information is captured with the help of the jobsite and sold on the market for a good profit. Hence, next time you are about to sign with a jobsite, read the Privacy Policy very carefully and check out all their claims. If you find even the slightest thing fishy or suspicious, do not consider it. There are too many jobsites out there for you - do not compromise on your safety.

The above points are some of the most important tips that if followed strictly, would ensure your safety both online and offline. The Internet is an excellent tool when used correctly - however, the boon can become a bane if it is allowed to be misused. Be always sure you are protected and safe.