Resumes Online

By: Lisa Carey

In our quest for the perfect job, career or even our first job out of college many people turn to the internet as a source of self marketing, and promotions, job finder service and networking tool. Hundreds of thousands use employment search programs such as Careerbuilder.com; Monster.com and Yahoo HotJobs.

Resumes are posted everywhere on the internet. Most every university, business, company or personal website (for those looking for employment) provides a resume, or some form of contact, background, employment, or educational information.

University professors post their curriculum vita. Businesses and medical professionals post their employment and educational information online to advertise their qualifications. But how safe is this information?

Privacy advocates, Better Business Bureaus and Employment professionals, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigations have identified online fraud as one of the most common sources of identity theft. Identity thieves and prospective employers alike can use your information. Which one do you want to have it?

Here are a few examples of those who didn't think identity theft could happen to them by posting their resume online:

"Jim" responded to an email request from an individual identifying himself as interested in Jim as a potential employee at a leading corporation in his field of expertise. Additional information was required of him, he was told, so that they could quickly perform a background check before going through the time and expense of further interviews. After responding with all the information that the "company" requested he followed up with a phone call to discover that the number he was given had been disconnected. He contacted the company through their toll free number and after some discussion with the human resource department discovered he had been a victim of a scam.

Three companies contacted "Candace" with request for more information for jobs that appeared to be too good to be true. Suspicious of so much good fortune she did more research and found that the information and techniques used to gather additional information from her were common methods used for identity theft.

NBA Star Steve Smith and movie star Will Smith were victims of the same identity theft criminal.

An online resume is a ticket to the lotto and in some cases it's straight to the bank to cash that winning lotto check. Resumes provide identity thieves with personal information such as: name, address, telephone number, date of birth, schools attending and when, as well as references and their contact information. Some resumes even include height and weight.

The use of technology by both potentional employees and employers is a common practice. With all the information out there, with all the competition in the job market how do you market and keep your information safe?

Do the following:

Rewrite your resume using a functional format
Include a work location
Include education and work experience in general terms.
Create an anonymous job search email address, which does not use your name.
Use your cell phone number or even purchase a prepaid cell phone system while you are conducting your job search.
Your research; make sure you know which online job sites are legitimate and safe.
Get it in writing: print out the licensing and privacy agreement, before agreeing to it and posting your resume.
Professionally explain that additional information is available upon completion of an interview or at another appropriate time after face to face contact.

Do not:

Include your address.
Include dates of employment or graduation
"Copy and paste" your regular resume into a comments section of an application or online service.
Provide references and references contact information; you may be putting them at risk for identity theft.
Include: SSN, date of birth, home telephone number or personal email address.
Release your social security number, mother's maiden name or any other information when approached by a "contact."
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Use the technology for you, not against you. Install spyware and anti virus programs and use them. Report inappropriate contacts or requests to the job search site via email or a contact us from. Reset your cookies on your personal computer decreasing opportunities for spyware, adware, or malware to access your computer.

Keep track of your information, when and where it was submitted. It will help you not only "weed" out inappropriate contacts but also assist you in professionally presenting yourself to prospective employers.

Make your job or career efforts successful ones by protecting your information, presenting yourself cordially and professionally, and being knowledgeable about your field and the world. By using the tips offered, you may not only get that dream job, but you may also be able to keep your credit safe allowing you to enjoy all the money you will be making.

Writing Resumes
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