Protect Yourself When Searching For a Job Online

By Royan Johnson Updated April 7, 2020

There was a time when searching for a job requires personal contact. One would go directly to a company and request a job application, complete the application, attached a resume, and hope to hear back from the organization.  Today’s job search is much easier you can post your resume on so many job boards or apply directly on a company’s website.  However, the easiness of applying for a job online comes with risk.  Your identity can be stolen or you can be scammed.  So, be vigilant and protect your personal information as best as you can.

Here are some tips on how to help you protect yourself when searching for a job online.

  • Post your resume on reputable job boards. A reputable job board should have the minimum such as a privacy policy, contact email and phone number, and is secure ( Say this site is secure or showing an image of padlock to the right of the site’s web address).
  • Limit the amount of information you put on your online resume. Do not put your date of birth, social security number, full address (city and zip code only), or photo Id on your resume.
  • Keep an inventory of the job site that you have posted your resume on and all the jobs that you apply for.
  • Do not respond to emails that cannot be verified. Look at the email signature.  It should have the sender’s full name, contact number, organization, and organization’s full address, and phone number.  Research the organization and the sender before responding to any email. Remember only respond with your interest in the job do not give any personal information.
  • Do not pay for job placement or information on how to get hired. Anyone who called or emailed you requesting payment for job placement or offering information on how to get hired is always trying to scam you. Legitimate job placement companies and organizations are interested in placing quality candidates in available job positions. They are not looking to earn money from job seekers.
  • Be aware of callers who are just trying to get information out of you. Until you know the legitimacy of the caller, don’t divulge any of your personal information.
  • When completing a job application online leave off personal information such as date of birth, social security number, mother’s maiden name. State that such information will be provided upon a face to face interview and a job offer.
  • Do not give bank information to anyone until your hiring is confirmed and such information should only be provided for direct deposit.
  • Anyone who calls you with a job offer always requests a face to face interview at the place of business.
  • Always check the legitimacy of anyone who contacts you either by email or phone call. Call the company directly to make sure that they are who they say that they are.
  • Be aware of job offers or job postings that offer salary outside of industry standards. Remember when things sound too good to be true they often are.

Some of the best places to research a company are Google, Yahoo, or Bing, Better Business Bureau, and your Secretary of State’s websites.

While the job search sites that you post your resumes on will do the best that they can to protect you from scam and identity theft it’s ultimately you’re responsible to protect yourself.  No matter how convincing someone sounds on the phone or in an email still do your due diligence.


Please take a moment to watch this video courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission. For more visit

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