Online Job Hunting: Tips for a Smarter – and Safer – Job Search | Career Training | The Salter School
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Online Job Hunting: Tips for a Smarter – and Safer – Job Search

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protect your information while job hunting onlineDon’t expose your personal information to the wrong people

If you’re a student nearing graduation at Salter, you’ve probably already stopped by Career Services to discuss job hunting approaches to put your education to work.

Chances are, you’ve also probably started an online job search. 

While applying online can be efficient, there are also some things you need to be aware of to protect yourself.

Yes, most job listings are probably legitimate, but it’s still a good idea to be on the lookout for red flags that could indicate a scam. Remember, exposing your personal information to the wrong people could make you a target for identity theft.

Here are some things to think about.

1. Don’t get too personal

The way the online marketplace operates, it’s helpful to post your resume on job sites so potential employers can find you.

That said, be sure to double-check any resume you’re posting to ensure that it doesn’t include any proprietary info (i.e., social security number, bank info, etc.). It’s also a good idea to verify the security of any websites you are posting to, so you can be certain your resume is being placed into good hands.

2. Be aware of scams

Craigslist is a phenomenal search tool. It’s free, easily accessible, and it’s updated all the time with dozens of local job opportunities. The only downside is the lack of stringent security, an obstacle which makes it easy for disreputable employers – or worse – to take advantage of people who are looking for work.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out job listings on Craigslist. However, just try to limit the amount of information you exchange with a potential employer until you’ve verified their credentials. Ask for a specific contact name, phone number, company address and website.

Be wary of anyone who asks for your social security number, bank payment information, or any other personal information, unless you’ve already been through the interviewing process and the company is making you a job offer.

3. Keep the information source in mind.  

In the digital age, it’s easy and helpful to find out more about a potential employer by way of Google, Yahoo or any other search engines. Doing so might also help you prepare for your next interview. That said, be mindful of what you click on, and where you go to find good information.

There’s almost no way of verifying the source of any anonymous comments posted to a message board or online forum. The same goes for user-generated/crowd-sourced job rating sites like Glassdoor; sites where a handful of employees who’ve had a negative experience might drag down a company’s reputation considerably.

It’s best to remember people are generally more motivated to relate negative experiences than they would be positive ones. Use a potential employer’s company website as a primary resource. Beyond that, always consider the source.

Need more information? Stop by Career Services for more guidance on job hunting.

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