— April 1, 2019
Over the years, searching and applying for jobs has shifted from reading the newspaper and submitting a hard copy to doing everything online. There are plenty of websites featuring job opportunities, and nowadays you can even use your LinkedIn profile to apply. While these advancements are great and open the door to many jobs you may otherwise never have found, it also means you need to practice some online safety.
Use common sense. If a job opening sounds too good to be true, unfortunately it probably is. Scammers will set up enticing posts to gather personal information from applicants. Before you respond to an opening, take the time to do some research and make sure it’s legitimate. Also, never send personal information via email or send money, and if you’re applying online, look to see if the site is secure with an https address.
Go directly to the source. Whenever possible, go straight to the company’s website and see if you can apply through a career portal there rather than through a job board. This can help to confirm the legitimacy of the position and provide a little more protection for your personal information than posting it to a general job site.
Update your privacy settings. Go onto each of your social media platforms and double check what privacy and safety features you have in place. Limit what information others can see to help protect against identity theft or scams. This also helps you to have a little more control over what potential employers see as well. They can see that you have a presence but may not be privy to personal details.
Clean up your online presence. While you can use privacy settings to maintain some control, it’s also a good idea to simply pay more attention to what you post and the image that it presents. Consider what impression it would give an employer if they saw it. Now is a great opportunity to delete some of those questionable pictures from your past. Plus, if you’re online posting all the time, what does that say about how much work you’re actually getting done?
Make sure your resume is polished up as well and aligned with the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that many employers use today. If you’re not presenting the right information in the right way, there’s a chance your resume won’t reach the hands of a recruiter or hiring manager.