Today’s society has built a strong foundation in the online world.
With employers building their online presence, the process of applying and interviewing for jobs has become increasingly more digital.
This means that for every click, you leave behind a digital footprint. As with footprints in the sand, digital footprints are easy to follow and lead right to you. This can be beneficial when in the right hands, but it is important to know how to safeguard your privacy to ensure it does not end up in the wrong hands.
In this blog post, we will explore three paramount points: how you can protect your privacy when applying for a job, how much information you should share, and how to protect your overall privacy online.
It is essential to strike a balance between providing adequate information and avoiding oversharing when applying for jobs. Your goal is to present yourself optimally without compromising your privacy. Here are some essential tips:
1. Employment Documentation: Be smart about what you include in your resume, cover letters and other employment documentation. Think of it like introducing yourself to a stranger at a party. Details such as your name, professional background, and contact information are standard. However, avoid sharing overly personal identifiers like tax file numbers, driver's license numbers, or bank account details unless explicitly required.
2. Securing Documents: When sending employment documentation, consider password-protecting them or using encrypted email services like Send Safely. This ensures that only the intended recipient can open them. If uploading them to a website, make sure it is a trustworthy employment site, such as SEEK.
3. Social Media: Employers often review social media to ensure an applicant’s public persona matches the one portrayed in their job application. Consider setting your personal accounts to private. This will not only safeguard against potential employers viewing undesirable content, but it also ensures that if your application details are compromised, very limited information about you is accessible online.
Navigating the recruitment process requires both preparation and discretion. Like knowing what not to put in your job applications, it is important to know what not to share with recruiters and during interviews. A crucial part of this is knowing what recruiters should and should not be asking you. For clarity and ease of reference, here are three primary main points to remember for when you progress beyond the application stage:
1. Essential vs. Excessive Information: As at the application stage, during recruitment it is also standard practice to be asked to share details like your name, contact, and work experience. This information is essential. However, if a recruiter is asking for details like your tax file number or family plans this is seen as excessive, intrusive, and unnecessary.
2. Legalities and Rights: If you are ever unsure about some of the information being requested, make sure to research your rights. Australian laws protect job seekers from inappropriate questions, like queries about age, marital status, religious beliefs, or health conditions. It is illegal for employers to inquire about these specifics.
3. Informed Consent: If a recruitment agency requires any personal or sensitive information beyond the norm, they must explain why. You have the right to understand how your information will be used and can choose to withhold it if it does not feel right. Ask questions and protect your privacy.
Our expanding online presence in today's world makes safeguarding our online privacy not just a preference, but a necessity. Protecting your digital footprint ensures your personal and professional integrity, while preventing potential misuse of your information. Recognising this significance, here are three pivotal strategies to increase your online security:
1. Online Profiles: Employers are not the only ones who scope public profiles. Be mindful of what you post online because your intended audience are not always the only ones to see it. We recommend updating your profile to private. This restricts the visibility of details such as your workplace or locations you frequent from people not on your “friends list.” If it is information that you would not disclose to a stranger, it is prudent to exclude it from your public online profiles.
2. Password Protection: Use strong, unique passwords for different platforms and change them regularly. Although it might seem inconvenient, the security it provides is invaluable. For instance, if someone compromises an old password from one platform, it should not grant them access to other critical accounts. You can also enable Two-Factor Authentication for added protection.
3. Beware of Scams or “Phishing”: Be sceptical of digital communications asking for personal information. Legitimate organisations will rarely, if ever, ask for personal details through email or text. Many also include declarations on their websites or in their signatures what they will and will not request from you. Familiarise yourself with their official communication methods (such as email domains and contact numbers), and if in doubt, verify the authenticity of requests by reaching out directly to the organisation through official channels. It is better to be safe than sorry.
The digital landscape presents both opportunities and challenges, particularly in the realm of information sharing. Striking a balance between sharing essential details and safeguarding personal privacy is a task that we all must prioritise.
At Conquest Recruitment Group, we understand the importance of privacy in today's digital job market. We are dedicated to ensuring a safe, transparent recruitment process for all our clients and candidates.
Need guidance on navigating the job market securely? Contact us today.
Your privacy matters, and we are here to help.