When you are searching for a job, remember that your privacy is still a concern. Instead of blasting your information on every site out there, be particular about which sites you choose to use and go with job search resources recommended by experts. In addition, there are a few basic online rules to remember:
Don’t give all your personal contact information: Use a dedicated email for contacts and protect yourself (and your family). This has the additional benefit of making you look intelligent about security risk.
Understand and use cyber-safe resumes. Utilize the levels of visibility that site allows and understand the differences between “searchable by employers only,” “private,” “semi-private,” and “open.” Again, you have to read that site’s definitions in order to use it correctly.
Keep track of when and where you posted your resume. Keep a spreadsheet, or use a career management tool like JibberJobber to keep track of your online job search.
Your Social Security Number, bank account number, and mother’s maiden name do not belong with your resume. Period. That’s like giving a hacker the easiest target in the world for identity theft. That information can be given at the job site after you are hired.
As one security expert said, the safest place for information is on a piece of paper in your pocket. But you can’t find a job when your resume is hiding so you have to take steps to balance the real need for security with the equally real need for exposure. Demonstrating your understanding of cyber security standards during your job search is an asset to potential employers.
The Dangers of Social Networking During a Job Hunt
It seems that everyone from teenagers to top-level executives of multi-million dollar corporations have taken to social networking online. These types of sites have been around for a while now, so it’s become common knowledge that you should keep your personal information private for safety reasons.
However, your presence on social networking sites can do more harm to you than just affecting your personal safety – it can damage your job safety as well. Today, many employers use social networking sites to narrow down their pool of applicants. A risque picture or an inappropriate comment can make the difference between you and someone else being chosen for a job interview, so it’s crucial to maintain your online reputation carefully just as you would do with your reputation in the real world. There are a few guidelines to keep in mind regarding using social networking sites wisely. Privacy in Social Networking
Try to make your profile as private as possible. The less you reveal, the less a hiring manager will have to scrutinize. On some social networking sites, you can actually block your name from searches so that your name won’t come up when searched.
On the other hand, you might prefer to give a small hint of information so that friends can verify that you are the classmate they think you are, people with common interests can find you, and potential employers get a glimpse of what you’re really like outside of work. This personal touch can help you as long as you keep it simple, neutral, and tasteful. Trouble Spots in Social Networking
When managing your profiles, take caution with your pictures, comments, and information. Don’t post pictures that are risque or objectionable. You can say that you graduated summa cum laude from your university, but if you post pictures that show you partying or drinking alcohol, it can give people the wrong idea. Your comment wall can also get you in trouble. If anyone leaves you a crude message, this can reflect poorly on you. After all, people are often judged by the company they keep. Also, keep in mind that friends can tag you in their own pictures, so always keep track of what pictures you’re tagged in. These photos can be found in your own photo album, so even if all of your pictures are private, these tagged pictures might still appear. If you want to untag yourself from a photo, simply click on the photo and click on the untag option. I find this so frustrating in Facebook. I don’t like being tagged. I’ve even had people that weren’t in the photo tag everyone in it–including me! Very invasive and once it’s out there, it’s out there for good… remember that!
The scrutiny over your social networking profiles might not even end when you get hired for a job. Your current boss could become curious about how you conduct yourself outside work, so always be just as careful with your profiles as you would be during a job hunt.
Since potential employers often use social networking utilities to get a first impression of their candidates, make sure that you put your best face forward with your profile. Check your profile often to make sure that no one has left you any inappropriate comments or tagged you in any questionable pictures. Social networking sites are a great way to keep in touch with friends from your past or family members who live far away, so while they are not entirely bad, you should proceed with caution. Instead of your audience being your friends and family, think of your audience as the entire world, including your potential employers.