Guard your privacy when job hunting on the Internet

Many professionals use the Internet to increase the ease and convenience of job searching and to take advantage of the wide range of job possibilities. They expand their visibility in the job market by capitalizing on the countless job boards, recruiters, networking resources and resume distribution sites that exist online.

While Internet career tools may enhance the job seeking process, they don’t always protect the privacy of their users. It’s up to you to manage your exposure and confidentiality on the Web. Here are a few ideas to help you achieve this goal:

Use an Internet-safe resume. A few minor changes to your resume will significantly increase your privacy and safety on the Internet. For instance, your online resume should not include personal information such as your Social Security number, driver’s license number or birth date.

Remove your home and work contact information, including address, city, state and phone number. Then, create a new Web-based e-mail account for handling all of your job search correspondence. Some job hunters set up a different third-party e-mail address (such as Yahoo, MSN, Gmail or Hotmail) for each posting. Utilize this strategy to effectively monitor the volume and quality of responses from each site.

Watch where you post your information. Before your post or upload your resume on any Web site, read their privacy policy in its entirety. Some Internet-based companies actively protect the information of job seekers and other users, while others do not. Know where your resume will be broadcast, who can access it and how it will appear.

Also, many job boards allow professionals to limit the accessibility of their resumes, authorizing only employers or recruiters to retrieve a specific file. The more restrictions you apply to your document, the greater control you will have over your privacy and security.

Manage your own distribution. There are numerous job seekers who swear by resume distribution services. They want to announce their availability to companies all over the country (or world), and feel strongly about the extent of visibility that these services provide.

If privacy concerns you, it is imperative that you distribute your resume on your own. Take the time to research particular companies, and use your judgment before you post or disseminate your personal information to unknown sources. By keeping a close eye on your job search practices, you will be able to contact an unlimited number of businesses without sacrificing confidentiality or losing control over your job hunt.

Track your postings. Keep a log of your job search activities. Nothing fancy – a few simple notes will do. Write down the name of the site, date, time and document that you posted. If you set up multiple third-party e-mail accounts, you will have the option of tracking responses from various sites. If you identify an unsavory trend, immediately remove your resume and contact information, and close your Web-based account.

Evaluate e-mail correspondence carefully. As always, if the subject line looks questionable, don’t open the message, and if the content feels inappropriate, don’t respond.

Take a common-sense approach to writing, posting and distributing your resume. Be smart and proactive, and you will benefit from the Internet’s tools without giving up your privacy and safety.

Send your job search questions to

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Members of Gravitics' team and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen stand in front of a mockup of a space module interior on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at Gravitics' Marysville facility. Left to right: Mark Tiner, government affairs representative; Jiral Shah, business development; U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen; Mike DeRosa, marketing; Scott Macklin, lead engineer. (Gravitics.)
Marysville startup prepares for space — the financial frontier

Gravitics is building space station module prototypes to one day house space travelers and researchers.

Orca Mobility designer Mike Lowell, left, and CEO Bill Messing at their office on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023 in Granite Falls, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could a Granite Falls startup’s three-wheeler revolutionize delivery?

Orca Mobility’s battery-powered, three-wheel truck is built on a motorcycle frame. Now, they aim to make it self-driving.

Catherine Robinweiler leads the class during a lab session at Edmonds College on April 29, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Grant aids apprenticeship program in Mukilteo and elsewhere

A $5.6 million U.S. Department of Labor grant will boost apprenticeships for special education teachers and nurses.

Peoples Bank is placing piggy banks with $30 around Washington starting Aug. 1.
(Peoples Bank)
Peoples Bank grant program seeks proposals from nonprofits

Peoples Bank offers up to $35,000 in Impact Grants aimed at helping communities. Applications due Sept. 15.

Workers build the first all-electric commuter plane, the Eviation Alice, at Eviation's plant on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Arlington, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Arlington’s Eviation selects Seattle firm to configure production plane

TLG Aerospace chosen to configure Eviation Aircraft’s all-electric commuter plane for mass production.

Jim Simpson leans on Blue Ray III, one of his designs, in his shop on Friday, August 25, 2023, in Clinton, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Whidbey Island master mechanic building dream car from “Speed Racer”

Jim Simpson, 68, of Clinton, is using his knowledge of sports cars to assemble his own Mach Five.

Yansi De La Cruz molds a cheese mixture into bone shapes at Himalayan Dog Chew on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Give a dog a bone? How about a hard cheese chew from Arlington instead!

Launched from a kitchen table in 2003, Himalayan Pet Supply now employs 160 workers at its new Arlington factory.

Inside the new Boeing 737 simulator at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo, Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
New Boeing 737 simulator takes ‘flight’ in Mukilteo

Pilots can test their flying skills or up their game at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo.

An Amazon worker transfers and organizes items at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amazon cuts ribbon on colossal $355M fulfillment center in Arlington

At 2.8 million square feet, the facility is the largest of its kind in Washington. It can hold 40 million “units” of inventory.

A computer rendering of the North Creek Commerce Center industrial park in development at 18712 Bothell-Everett Highway. (Kidder Mathews)
Developer breaks ground on new Bothell industrial park

The North Creek Commerce Center on Bothell Everett Highway will provide warehouse and office space in three buildings.

Dan Bates / The Herald
Funko president, Brian Mariotti is excited about the growth that has led his company to need a 62,000 square foot facility in Lynnwood.
Photo Taken: 102312
Former Funko CEO resigns from the Everett company

Brian Mariotti resigned Sept. 1, six weeks after announcing he was taking a six-month sabbatical from the company.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Paper or plastic? Snohomish County may require businesses to take cash

County Council member Nate Nehring proposed an ordinance to ban cashless sales under $200. He hopes cities will follow suit.