Protecting your Privacy during a Job Search

Indeed conducted a survey of 10,000 people in nine countries to identify their concerns about privacy. The thing that concerned people most about the job search process being made public – is colleagues or employers finding out, with only personal finances being more sensitive than a job search.

But in this information economy, privacy is being rapidly eroded at an unprecedented rate, with what we think are serious significant consumer privacy violations.

If you are concerned not only about keeping your job search private, but keeping your information private, then we share the top 3 ways to protect your privacy.

Be aware that LinkedIn is just another Facebook

Like Facebook, Google and Amazon, Microsoft (which purchased LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016), is in the business of data and selling your data. What this means:

  • Every time you change your LinkedIn page, have a work anniversary, or do something that might signal a recruitable moment, recruiters are alerted.
  • Like Facebook, your data is used for targeted advertising and data mining.
  • LinkedIn is considered public. This means your data can be scraped by others who in turn sell this information to corporations.  We have written previously about Joberate. HiQ is similar, in that they use LinkedIn to predict turnover risks on members of staff. That is any changes that you make to your LinkedIn profile, your employer is alerted, if they are part of the service. How many employers will take up this technology will be interesting. But the mere fact that the technology is available and being used, means there is zero privacy on LinkedIn.

Find this creepy? So does My Career Groove, which is why our data is not public and is completely controlled by you, the user.

Our recommendation: If you are looking for a new job, don’t go on a sudden crazy spurt on LinkedIn, going from zero activity to visiting LinkedIn everyday. Make sure you are updating your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis, so there are no sudden changes that are picked up by tools such as Joberate and HiQ.

Work with only ethical recruiters

Most recruiters are trying to do the right thing and have high professional standards. However, the recruitment sector is not well regulated and there are cowboys in the industry that bring the entire industry into disrepute.

One tactic that not only invades your privacy, but can also compromise your ability to get a job with these companies later on, is the recruiter submitting your resume to companies without invitation or your permission. So you might have a situation when 2 or more recruiters submit your resume for the same position, forcing you out of the running altogether and you haven’t given permission to one or more of the recruiters to submit your resume.

Our recommendation: Only work with ethical recruiters that guarantee that they won’t submit your resume to any organisation, without your implicit permission.

Read the fine print on job boards

Many job boards provide the option of uploading your resume. However, before you do this, you have to read the fine print on privacy.

Take Indeed – the largest job aggregator, who provides users with the option of uploading your resume. As soon as you upload this resume, it will be crawled by, displayed by and viewed by third parties and this personal information can be used by anyone, including criminals, marketers and your boss.

In Indeed’s own words:

If you do not want Personal Information posted on the site, you should not upload it (the resume).

Our recommendation: Don’t post your resume on these sites. The success rate is incredibly low and your loss of privacy is just not worth it.

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