Keep Personal Information to a Minimum
Be Vague about Current Employer on Job Boards
Be Vigilant for Scams
Protect your Privacy Online
The world of online privacy and job hunting is a murky one, and one that can bring its fair share of issues if not handled correctly. Give too much information and you can make yourself vulnerable to identity theft and in some countries you can lose your job. Give out too little, and your chance of finding a new role diminishes greatly. In this post, we look at ways of managing your online privacy, and the issues that may surface if you neglect it.
Consequences of Poor Online Privacy use
In essence poor online privacy use can and does lead to identity theft and conflict with your current employer, if you have one. Neither is something you want to have to deal with, especially as in America you can lose your job if you’re found to be looking for another job.
As the executive world is a competitive one, your competitors could use information you put in the public domain against you, especially if they feel they can get ahead of you by letting it slip to your line manager for example, that you applied for a position in a rival company.
As a C-Level executive you have to be especially careful of online privacy issues.
So how do you manage your online privacy?
Social Security/National Insurance Numbers
Under no circumstances should you give out your social security/ national insurance number when uploading your CV to a job board. They have absolutely no reason to have it. Your next employer will need it, but should anyone else ask for it they are probably a scammer. With this number, they can discover reams of information about you and are in the perfect position to commit identity theft.
Date of Birth
A lot of sites, including social media sites ask for your date of birth. Again, for your average scammer this information is gold dust. It is recommended that if you can’t hide your date of birth you should use a fake one. This is also true of other information that can give clues to personal information about you. Mother’s maiden name and where you grew up for example, can also give your scammer all they need to trace your roots and steal your identity.
Handy tips to protect your Identity Online
Job boards such as Monster, have options for you to control information that appears in public about you. So rather than giving out your address, age, etc, set personal information to the bare minimum. Name and contact email is all a potential employer/headhunter needs to know in the first instance.
Although long and boring documents to read it is a good idea to ensure you check exactly what information they provide to third parties. As a rule, remove the following from a job board websites.
- Your home/work addresses
- Work email address and email addresses connected to an online profile. Have a dedicated job hunt email
- Remove your current employer’s name, and replace it with a description of your industry. Goes it without saying to remove their contact details
Use a personal mobile phone number for your contact number, and ensure the voice mail gives out nothing that can link to your employer or home address.
Jobs boards are ok, but to really find a new job with much fewer privacy issues, networking is the card that trumps them all. A good network strategy pays dividends, and avoids having to use cloak and dagger methods to get results.