Finding a job is very important, but so is staying safe online. Looking for a job involves exchanging a lot of personal information with your potential employers, and you cannot risk letting that information get into the wrong hands. Even small slip ups can have huge consequences.
1. Limit Personal Information in Your Resume
There’s absolutely no reason to include things like your home address or scans of your official identification card with your resume. If an employer needs that information from you, they can collect it during the hiring process. Make these things available upon request to employers who are seriously considering you – don’t hand them out aimlessly.
2. Dig Deep on Companies
Who are you sending your information to? Does the company receive and review their own resumes, or do they outsource that job? Reputable companies have up to date security practices that will prevent your information from being viewed by third parties. Find out how long a company will keep your resume on record. If it’s longer than 90 days, you may not want them hanging onto your details for too long.
3. Never Publicly Post Personal Details
Slapping your resume up on the internet may feel like fishing with a wide net. When everyone can see it, it may seem like you’re increasing your chances of finding a great employer. The only problem with posting these things publicly is that anyone can see them. Sure, recruiters and HR staff will be able to read your resume, but so will anyone else who is looking to steal personal information.
4. Don’t Outsource Resume Sharing
Services pop up all the time that promise to send your resume to employers looking for candidates like you. This is almost always a bad move. You can’t control where they’re sending your information, and you don’t know how securely they’re storing it. You may be saving a few minutes a day, but you’re risking your privacy.
5. Document Where You’ve Sent Your Info
Keep track of every time you send out your resume, and who you’ve sent it to. Not only does this make it easier for you to follow up on potential future career opportunities, it also helps you keep track of your data. If something gets out there that should have been kept private, it’s easier to track down the source of the data breech when you know everyone who has been given access to your information.
6. Use a VPN
VPNs are great for online safety in every circumstance, whether you’re applying for jobs or making online purchases. VPNs shield you from outside attacks, which are common on public or unsecured WiFi connections. Before you send anything to anyone, make sure you’re using a good VPN. You’ll want to find one that suits your device.
7. Always Read Privacy Information
There are tons of sites designed to help job seekers find job openings. Oftentimes, these services are helpful. Sometimes, that help comes at a cost. These sites may share your information with third parties, or share your email address with solicitors. If a website ever says you’ll receive “offers from partners” or “information about exciting opportunities”, this most likely means they’re selling your name, email address, and statistical information to the highest bidder.
There’s no such thing as being too careful with your personal information, or using too much suspicion. If an offer seems fishy, it likely is fishy. Be careful what email attachments you open and who you speak to, and don’t be so quick to answer questions from people you don’t know during your job search process.
Amelia Dermott is a passionate writer and self-proclaimed Internet addict. Having experience in business and IT administration, she likes to write about technology and self-development topics.