Resume Writing Tip: 5 Ways to Protect Your Contact Information
An electronic resume is what most of us rely on today to initiate communication with a potential employer. It may be in the form of a Word document, PDF file, on your website, on job board websites or pasted into the email you send.
Once your information is available in electronic form, it is easy to share that information with others and for others who receive your information to share it with people they desire. So while you need to send your resume in order to be considered for most jobs, you should also ensure your information, especially your contact information, remains safe and secure.
There are many types of scams out there today that can put your information at risk. For instance, many people may refer to websites such as Craigslist to find job opportunities. While there are many legitimate opportunities available on the site, there are also scammers who may post a job opportunity that appears to be legitimate in order to collect information on people for other uses.
If you are sending your resume electronically to a source you are not familiar with, take caution in the type of information you include.
Here are some ways to safeguard your information.
- Do not include your mailing address.
There is no need for a potential employer to know your actual physical address when you are only at the initial stage of applying for a job. Rather than list your physical mailing address, only indicate the city and state. As long as you include a phone number and email address, the employer will know how to contact you. The information can be supplied at a later point when you know it is a legitimate job opportunity.
- Use a Google Voice number.
Sign up for a free Google Voice number and you won’t have to share your home number or mobile number. There’s no cost involved to sign up for a number and you also have the convenience of having voice mails sent to you via email as a transcript and access to the audio recording electronically.
- Audit your email address.
Don’t be surprised by how much information one can find out about you by simply knowing your email address. If you have a primary email address you have used to sign up for social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook or Flickr, and your settings for these accounts are not set to private, people can easily access all the information you have included to these sites. For more security, use another email address on your resume that does not have a history on the Internet for others to search information on you.
- Customize the settings on your resume on job boards.
Most job board websites that offer resume posting allow you to customize your settings. You do not necessarily need to make your entire resume publicly available for everyone (or all employers) to view. For instance, on Monster, you may select to have your resume public, but hide your contact information. Employers may continue to view your qualifications and experience without having access to your contact information. If they have a desire to contact you, it is sent to a confidential Monster email address for you to determine if you want to respond to it.
- Refrain from sharing information that is not needed during the application process.
Information such as your social security number and date of birth may be needed for employment. You may also need to supply your bank account information for direct pay, but there is no reason to share this information beforehand, during the application process. If such requests are made, it’s a clear sign it may be a scam. Never share such information until employment is offered and you have determined it is a legitimate opportunity.
When preparing and sending your resume for a job opportunity to a contact or source you are unfamiliar with, there is always a risk. Once a resume is sent electronically, it can live on the Internet indefinitely. You can be at risk for identity theft if the source you are sending your resume to is illegitimate. You also do not have any control over who that person decides to forward it to or where they post it to.
Always err on the side of caution because once an electronic resume is released it is not always possible to pull back.