Would you buy a new car sight unseen? Probably not given the type of investment you’d be making. So why take a similar risk with your career by posting your resume on an online job board where anyone with an account—legitimate business or scammer—can access YOUR personal information?
Online job boards serve as a good starting resource for people in the market for a new career direction, but they shouldn’t be your only source.
It’s never been more important than before to “look before you leap.” With the rate of identity thefts on the rise and the number of new job boards that seem to be popping up promising to put your credentials in front of “thousands” of employers, you’re risking exposing your personal and professional information to unscrupulous eyes.
Below are online job search safety tips to help make sure you’re sharing your information with reputable job search sources:
1. Bookmark job sites listed in ads and verify that they are legitimate links to the companies.
Many of the Fortune 500 organizations have their own employment databases and some even allow you to upload your resume to their database. So, if you really want to work for that television station, post directly on their career web site rather than on that fancy looking new job board that invited you to post your resume.
2. Check for a telephone number.
If a company lists an advertisement on a job board and is comfortable enough to include a telephone number, then it’s probably safe to assume that it’s likely a legitimate opening.
While there is always a small chance of it being a scammer, assuming you get to talk to a person on the other line, you should be able to develop a gut feeling regarding whether the lead is legit.
3. If you do post your resume on a public job board, limit the amount of personal information you disclose.
For example, instead of listing your address and telephone number, list an e-mail address that you create specifically for your job search. This will help eliminate your personal or work email box from being flooded with junk, especially since these unsavory sites often sell their mailing lists and nay harvested email information to third parties.
4. Mask any potentially identifying information, such as current or most recent employer (you could put COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL in place of the name). Once you determine that you’re dealing with a legitimate recruiter or hiring authority, then it should be safe to release your information.
5. Finally, if an ad sounds “too good to be true,” it probably is.
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