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Do's and Don'ts for Online Job Hunters

Online career sites have made the process of connecting employers and prospective employees faster and easier than ever before. Careerbuilder.com, for instance, reports more than a million jobs and 15 million resumes on its site. But while using the Internet can be the fast track to a new job for many, job seekers must be careful about how much information they post to job sites.

Your resume and its contents have "street value" says Cyveillance, (www.cyveillance.com), the leading provider of online risk monitoring and management solutions. Email addresses, phone numbers and other personal data can be a gold mine to scammers and identity thieves.

Here are some good rules–of–thumb to follow:

Do use a portable e-mail address such as a hotmail account and a PO Box instead of your actual street e-mail and address.

Do stick with just a few job boards you trust. Focus on quality, not quantity. Read their privacy policies. Moster.com, for instance, gives job seekers a variety of privacy options for resumes. Others such as CareerBuilder have increased their security activities.

If a job opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Monster.com reports that fake job listings are sometimes posted simply to collect sensitive personal data from unsuspecting job seekers. Also, be suspicious of lots of misspelled words, sites looking for import/export specialists or people to handle money transfers. Verify that the site's link in the ad matches up with the domain advertised in the listing.

Don't supply a social security or driver's license number under any circumstances, the fastest way to lose your identity to a thief. If a prospective employer requests the information for a background check before you've met in person, that's a red flag. Also, never fax copies of your ID or social security number to someone you've never met. These should only be presented to employers in person.

Don't include your marital status or mother's maiden name. No credible employer needs this information.

Don't include name, address and phone numbers for references. Employers don't need this information until after an interview. Just indicate that references are available upon request and you can easily provide after the interview.

While it's natural to be excited by new job opportunities, exercise discretion before releasing your precious credentials on the Internet.

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Do's and Don'ts for Online Job Hunters

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