Exactly how much contact information should a person should list on their résumé? Some say that human resource managers won’t accept résumés that have no address listed because it could ‘conceal’ something. Others in the industry indicate that it is becoming more common to list only a contact number and name when posting a résumé on the Internet, in order to avoid identity fraud and safeguard personal privacy.
Interestingly enough, a colleague even mentioned this possibility: “Employers can even look up where you live and determine the value of your home through zillow.com or the local tax assessor. They can tell when the home was purchased, the annual taxes, and even if it’s for sale. We certainly don’t want our client’s salary level determined on whether a candidate lives in a McMansion or a trailer park.”
Wow. The world has changed, hasn’t it?
How do you tackle this issue?
Firstly, when posting your information online, it is critical that you do take steps to protect your identity. You should only use your name or even just your first initial and last name, and provide a cell phone number to be reached, plus an email address that doesn’t disclose much more information than already provided. Any time you are posting something even on sites like Monster.com or other related job boards, there are people who pose as ’employers’ and pay the fee to access the site… and promptly go to work as identity crooks. Think about what you are posting… your name, occupation, employment dates, education, etc. It’s a dream come true for an identity thief. If you’ve included your home location, one quick robbery later with just one piece of photo i.d., and suddenly, you are in for some unpleasant surprises very soon!
Additionally, caution should be used when you are reviewing job boards like craigslist.com – unfortunately, if that job posting sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Most reputable companies aren’t afraid to be up front about their contact information or company name. If you really want to pursue that opportunity, be extremely cautious about any additional requests for information without any company data coming your way. It could be yet another scam to try and capture your personal information!
However, until definitive data comes from the hiring managers and human resource representatives themselves, it’s probably best to include your contact information when sending résumés directly to reputable organizations. There are confidentiality laws and corporate policies/procedures in place to protect applicant data. However, if you ever suspect that they have been breached or abused, you need to notify the appropriate officials immediately.
Even so, here’s a hair-raising example of how abuse can occur, even when the company was legitimate: Many years ago, I applied for a job at The Gap. I never heard from them about my application, but I got a phone call from a man a few weeks later, and he said he had heard I was looking for work, and that he had a telemarketing job he was hiring for at the time.
I didn’t recall ever meeting him nor could establish a connection as to how he got my information. At that point, I asked him how he got my information. Stupidly (does this qualify as a ‘dumb crook’ story?) he told me that his girlfriend was the manager at The Gap, and she had brought home the applications for the people that they didn’t end up hiring, and he was going through them. I felt so violated at the time, and immediately called The Gap and went up the ladder to talk to a supervisor, and promptly reported the incident. I didn’t even think to call the police!! (Silly me)
Obviously, the manager had taken my personal information and transported off-site (and back in those days, you felt compelled to provide your SSN# on an application) – this guy had the whole nine yards!!! I don’t know what happened in that instance to either the woman or the man, but since then, I have been acutely aware of what to put and what not to disclose and when.
Your credit, your financial standing and your reputation stand depend on it!