How Posting Your Resume Online Could Lead to Identity Theft

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If you post your resume to online job boards in search of new employment, you are probably hoping that you will hook a potential employer or recruiter in the process. 
 
However, the personal information listed on your online resume could also make you easy bait for identity thieves
 

How Posting Your Resume Online Could Lead to Identity Theft

How an identity thief can use your resume to steal your identity

The FBI has investigated cases where identity thieves  have combed through resumes on online job sites to collect identifying information—such as a person's full name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number—in order to open up fake credit cards and take out loans in victims' names. 
 
In some identity theft cases, identity thieves pose as recruiters, paying a fee to access a career website's database of resumes. On some job boards, this fee is low enough that it's relatively easy for scammers to pay up and review posted resumes, says Kristen Jacoway, CEO and owner of Career Design Coach, a career coaching company.
 
In addition, data breaches have occurred at some websites where thieves gained access to resume databases, according to the Georgia Governor's Office of Consumer Protection
 
Once a resume has been downloaded from a website, it is no longer in your control nor the control of the online job site. If an identity thief is able to piece together enough of your personal information, the crook could potentially access your bank account, set up new accounts in your name, and commit a host of crimes. 
 
"There are some safeguards on some job boards where you can tweak the privacy or confidentiality of your resume," Jacoway says. 
 
Most job sites, for example, offer some identity protection through semi-anonymous posting. This allows job seekers to protect their contact information when they upload a resume and to control which users can see their real information. 
 
But if you conduct your job search online and post your resume across the Web, it's important to also be familiar with the privacy policy for each website you use and to pay close attention to how long a website says it will keep or store your resume. 
 
The Georgia Governor's Office of Consumer Protection says to look for job sites that will only keep your resume for a limited, specific amount of time, such as one to six months. Ensure that the job site will allow you to delete your resume when you wish, and be wary of any website that does not have a privacy policy posted.
 

How an identity thief can use your resume to steal your identity

As you craft your online resume to help you land your dream job, consider the following tips to help you protect against identity theft: 
 
1. Never include your Social Security number, full name, home address, driver's license number, credit card or bank account numbers, or other personal identifying information on your online resume. 
 
"Leaving off personal information won't hurt your job prospects," says Mary Ellen Slayter, a career expert for job search site Monster.com. "As long as you have the right keywords included in your resume and an easy way to email you, you're good to go."
 
2. Create an email address to be used only for your job search, and list that on your resume. Slayter recommends creating a professional email address that doesn't include your full name or other identifying information. Once you've found a job, you can easily cancel the email address.
 
3. Instead of giving out your home phone number, consider including your cell phone number because cell phone numbers are generally unlisted. Jacoway also suggests using a video chat and conferencing service if you aren't comfortable disclosing your personal phone number. 
 
4. Instead of listing your home address, consider using a post office box or only disclosing your city and state. In general, employers are now getting in touch with candidates through email, not snail mail, Jacoway says. 
 
5. Don't include the personal information of your references. Save that for when you've advanced to the interview process. 
 
6. Stay organized during the job hunt by keeping a list of sites on which you've posted your resume. That way, you can go back and delete each resume once you've finished your job search.
 
7. Be selective when posting your resume online. Focus on job sites that have quality privacy policies, sound reputations, and good track records for professionals in your industry. 
 
Learn how identity thieves commit identity theft by stealing information from your online resume. Find out how you can protect yourself and prevent identity theft from happening to you. $portalUtil.addPageDescription($seo-description.getData(), $request) resume identity theft, online resume identity theft, identity theft, id theft, identity theft protection, identity theft prevention $portalUtil.addPageKeywords($seo-keywords.getData(), $request)

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