Saturday, September 1, 2007

Industry Experts Warn Job Seekers to Be Careful About Uploading Personal Data to Job Boards

itzbig, whose founders pioneered the use of the Internet as a tool for matching hiring companies with job candidates almost a decade ago, warned job seekers today to be cautious when disclosing personal data on job boards.

itzbig executives Jim Hammock and Hank Stringer suggested that a Symantec report released earlier this week was a proof point. That report revealed that hackers may have gained access to hundreds of thousands of resumes on

This vulnerability is not new as evidenced by a recent story in, which noted that job hunters, who have posted their resume on the industry's most popular job sites "have been getting unusual phone calls that may be the sign of a larger scam."

Hammock and Stringer, the original founders of in the late 1990s, said that both examples suggest a need for the industry to move toward interactive sourcing networks that offer greater privacy controls to users including complete anonymity as well as user-controlled access to personal information.

Hammock said "It is important for internet users to know that when they put their personal data on the web it is all but impossible to retrieve. There are numerous tools that harvest this data and repurpose it for unintended uses. So my first advise is don’t do it."

"The ideal network," said Hammock, "gives job seekers the ability to control their job search in that they determine what personal information they choose to reveal for each respective interaction with an employer or recruiter."

At the same time, Stringer suggested that both would-be employers and job applicants should be able to explore the “fit,” without disclosing their full identity until the last possible moment.

“Privacy and anonymity along with user control are the pillars of the safest, most effective sourcing network,” said Stringer. “The sooner that we have networks that embrace these features, the sooner we’ll have fewer incidents like those mentioned above.”

“The need for secure job exploration has become even more important as currently employed workers have less job security than in the past because of layoffs, mergers, out sourcing, off shoring, and other business practices that have made life time employment a thing of the past. Today everyone needs a safe and secure way to explore a Plan B just in case they become unemployed,” said Hammock.

itzbig offers the following tips to ensure personal data remains secure:

1. Be anonymous where-ever possible.

2. Minimize the amount of personal contact information disclosed at all times.

3. Don’t rely upon job sites to protect your personal information. Only provide your personal data to legitimate employers and recruiters.

4. Make sure the network allows the verification of employer’s identity before submitting personal data such as resume.

5. Do not store your resume on job sites.

6. Use a network that allows you to gauge an employer’s level of interest before submitting your resume.

Networks that incorporate the above tips, such as itzbig, are already in place, and more may be on the horizon, according to Kevin Wheeler, a globally-known speaker, author, columnist and consultant in human capital acquisition and development.


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