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Five important safety considerations to make when posting your CV online

By various contributors on 21 Feb, 2017

According to the Office of National Statistics, there were approximately 3.6 million instances of computer-related fraud for the year ending September 2016. In addition, the accounting firm KPMG’s fraud barometer found that the cost of online fraud in 2016 had surpassed £113 million, the highest since 2008. With the risk to internet users so high at the moment, it is becoming ever more important that we take steps to protect ourselves when surfing the web.

Searching online is one of the major ways people seek new recruitment opportunities, with a survey from Climber.com suggesting almost 30% of a jobseeker’s typical day is spent browsing the internet on the lookout for a new role. One of the most popular methods of finding a new position is posting a CV to a recruitment website and letting them do a lot of the difficult work.

What many people don’t realise, however, is that recruitment sites are also the target of online fraud, where scammers try to extract personal details and sometimes more from eager victims chasing the prospect of an interview. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you can protect yourself when posting your CV online.

Don’t share sensitive information

Although a CV posted on a recruitment website will require some of your information, there are some details that don’t need to be included. Refrain from adding your date of birth, age, address, national insurance number, passport and driving licence information or your financial details, as these are the nuggets of data that criminals can use to defraud you.

If anyone contacts you requesting any of these with the promise of an interview, you shouldn’t reply and report their activities to the job site. You should also avoid including any of the details of your references — simply putting ‘references available on request’ is perfectly acceptable, and you should only share contact information when you are sure it is a genuine offer.

Look into the reputation of a recruitment website

Before you upload your CV, it’s vital that you look into the reputation and legitimacy of any website that you upload it to. It can be tempting to register with as many sites as you can to boost your chances, but you should be cautious of those you haven’t heard of or are not convinced by.

With a quick Google search, you can bring up reviews of most job sites, and they are worth reading if you are trying to make a judgement. Career Experts have compiled a top ten job sites for 2016, which is well worth a read if you are not quite sure where to start. Each entry on the list has a history of successfully helping people find new employment.

Go through your privacy settings

A good job website will have a number of safety settings that you can use to protect your CV from malicious third parties. Go through all the security options when you create an account and adjust them to your liking. Some reputable websites will allow you to set your document as private, with only your basic details available. Others can give you the option to display your whole CV with sections censored until a genuine offer is made. Choose the settings that you feel most comfortable with.

Create a dedicated recruitment email

David Brock is the Managing Director of LetUsFixIT, an online security specialist, and he recommends that job-seekers create a separate email for recruitment purposes. He said: “Everyone has that embarrassing personal email address that they’re not keen on sharing with the world, especially for professional purposes. Setting up a new email will not only save face, but it will protect your personal account from spam and any hacking attempts. If fraudsters do access your account, they will only have your job-related emails available to them.”

Exercise caution with offers sent by email

A common method of recruitment scamming is to find your address on a CV listing site and send you scam or phishing emails in the hope that you take the bait. At times, it can be difficult to resist this type of message when you are so desperate to find an exciting new opportunity in your career. Be wary of anything that requires a reply with sensitive information or financial details. This article by recruitment site Total Jobs has a whole checklist of ways to spot a scam job offer, as well as information about what you should do if you receive one.

Take these five considerations on board and you can begin your job search knowing that you’ve taken the right steps to securely post your CV online