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4 Ways to Protect Your Job While Job Hunting Online

by Susan P. Joyce

Since 1995, I've taught hundreds of people the methods of successful online job hunting as well as the flip side, teaching online recruiting to recruiters.

In the first online recruiting workshop I taught for a major company's recruiters (in 1997 or 1998), we found the resume of one of the company's middle managers in our search for qualified applicants. Her manager was notified, immediately, and she was probably fired before the end of the workshop that same day. That reaction is common.

What should you do to protect YOUR job?

1.) Good job sites offer methods for you to limit access to your name and other contact information which will make it more difficult for your employer to find you.

2.) Don't job search while you are at work, and don't use your work e-mail address for your job search. By doing either you are using your employer's assets for personal use, and they may be completely justified in firing you. A survey by the American Management Association in 2001 revealed that 63% of their members monitor their Internet connections and 47% review employee e-mail correspondence. See the survey results on the American Management Association Web site

3.) Be careful of resume e-mail "blasting" services. Many recruiters view the incoming mail as unwanted "spam". In any case, you lose control over who sees your resume, given how easy it is to forward e-mail, no matter how carefully chosen the initial list of addressees may be.

4.) Use a "cyber-safe resume" that masks your identity.

WAIT!! Doesn't protecting your privacy make it more difficult for you to find a job? Not necessarily!! It may actually help - you may appear more 'Net savvy, and you may be viewed as someone protecting a good job. No guarantees. You weigh the risks for yourself.

About Susan Joyce: In 1995, Susan emerged from a corporate career to found NETability, Inc., a Web site development and consulting company, teach online job-hunting skills and grow, the award-winning job search portal. For more than a decade, she has written and spoken extensively on the subject of online job search to groups ranging from the U.S. Department of Labor to local support groups. Susan is truly a pioneer in this field. She has been quoted in TIME Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and countless other publications, both online and offline. Susan has an M.B.A. in Information Systems and a B.S. in Education.