Protecting Your Identity In Your Job Search

Most everyone can relate to hiding a job search from a current employer. But how can job seekers protect their identities from public abuse when the majority of online career and social networking websites require job seekers' personal information to sign up and for potential employers to find them?

Identity thieves are increasingly exploiting job search and social networking websites because those sites can be treasure troves of registered users' personal information. In some cases, job search sites such as Monster.com, ZoomInfo, TechnologyLadder and ExecUNet, require two or more forms of personal identification data (such as a mailing address or credit card number) so that they can verify job seekers' identities at account setup. While I applaud their desire to protect the use of my identity, the news (Monster Attacked Again – 1.6 M Records Stolen, USAJOBS Fed Jobsite Hacked – Account Info Lost, and Trojan Trawls Job Search Sites Harvesting IDs) testifies to even these major job sites’ inability to protect that data consistently, and that makes me very leery of providing detailed identification data, especially my credit card numbers, to any job search website.

While these job search sites take measures to validate the identities of job seekers, they don't seem to do the same for employers. The result is that nearly all of these job sites allow someone to identify him or herself as an employer without verification. Then, as long as the "employer" pays its fees, it can access, download and save resumes at its convenience.

This means, for a relatively small price, scammers can have near limitless access to all your career and personal information.

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