3 Ways to Protect Yourself from the Hidden Dangers of Online Job Boards

You finish writing your resume and you are now off into the scary world of online job hunting. You head straight for the biggest online career websites (ex: Monster, Dice, etc…), and upload your resume. You feel confident that your future employer is out there and will soon see your resume. Soon the two of you will start a wonderful career partnership that all started with the click of a button. What you do not realize is that there are hidden dangers in posting your resume on the web that can be detrimental to your jobs search. Here are some tips to help you avoid these common mistakes.

1) Remove all contact information when posting a resume on the web.

This is by far the easiest to avoid and the most detrimental mistake you could make while internet job hunting. Let's run through some reasons why.

A) Run-of-the-mill recruiters What low-end recruiters do is scan the job boards for potential candidates and send their resumes to their clients without your permission. It may seem harmless, but it could ruin your credibility and desirability in the job market. Imagine this scenario: You are a hiring manager looking to hire a candidate. You see the resume of John Doe and you think, “This guy could be a potential candidate for the job.” You put him in your yes pile and continue through the resumes. To your surprise, there is John Doe again from a different source – what a coincidence. After a few more emails, guess who turns up for another visit? Yes, it is John Doe. You decide this person is desperate or only interested in finding a job, not in your job. You go back to the yespile, take out Mr. John Doe’s resume and toss it. Do you see why this is a problem now? It removes all credibility. Always remove your contact information and recruiters will be forced to contact you if they want to present you to their clients.

B) Ease of Information Information is so easy to get and this is true now more than ever in today's job market. Let’s take the hiring manager scenario again. You are a hiring manager and have finished going through all of the resumes for your role. You take the yespile and start to sort through your potential candidates. You take Ms. X’s resume and notice an email address. You punch it into Google and lo and behold, there are tons of links to her various social media site. Intrigued, you click on her Facebook link and right before your eyes are various pictures of Ms. X’s drunken party night and a status saying that she is at work exhausted from her night of partying. You, as the hiring manager, think “Seems like a great girl to party with, but do I really want an employee who is a partier and may come to work drunk regularly?” The answer is no. I admit this example is a little extreme, but the general concept is quite true. Employers look at social media sites and the easiest way to tell if the employee whose resume is on your desk is the same one with the party pictures on your screen is through their contact information. This leads me to step 2.

2) Specified Job Hunting Email Address

Reserving an email address dedicated solely to job hunting will help avoid the pitfalls that social media has on your job hunting endeavors. If an employer searches that email address, your name will come up clean. Now you can sigh in relief. I still recommend making your SM sites like Facebook private. It is better to be safe than sorry.

3) You Must Track Everything

Keep track of who and where you send your resume. As in point A, you want to keep your credibility intact and you want to keep in contact with those you’ve met through the interview process (the joys of LinkedIn). You never know when you may come across these people again (HR, Managers, and Recruiters) and where your connections could lead you.


With these three simple rules, you can save yourself from numerous pitfalls of online job hunting.


Did I miss any? Have you been or know a candidate who has been the victim of any of these potential pitfalls? Leave a comment below and let’s hear your thoughts.


-Evelyn Amaro

NationStaff Inc.

This article was originaly posted on NationStaff's Blog

Views: 1031

Comment by Ron Kubitz on June 21, 2012 at 8:41am

Well done Evelyn and I agree with your thoughts. I might also add that it is wise to remove all of your contact info so that if still employed your present employer does not find your resume on the job board. I purposely scan the job boards typcially once per month looking to see if any of our folks might be on the job hunt!

Comment by Randall Scasny on June 21, 2012 at 8:47am

I use the job boards a lot to do resume testing and market research to focus  a candidate's job campaign -- although I rarely use them to actually apply for jobs.

I agree with what Evelyn said in her article. However, I think she is much too nice.

Case in point: the most hated, reviled job board thug: the financial services pay-for-a-job scam.

Whenever a candidate posts her/his resume to Careerbuilder.com, for instance, she/he gets tons of inquires by the financial services industries for jobs that have NOTHING to do with the skills of the candidate! These companies send out thousands of deceptive emails everyday ( for example "RE: Resume Review Follow up" ) There are 2 companies who are the worst offenders: Waddell & Reed and American Income Insurance who want the candidate to pay money up front for "a job". Another scam is the medical sales rep jobs that offer 6-figure salaries for just a high school diploma and NO EXPERIENCE. I had some time one day and called these companies posing as a job seeker just for fun. Well, it's a scam to take their "medical sales rep class." I wish the whole industry who ostracize these operators. But Evelyn is right: you cannot provide your contact information on a job board.

Randall Scasny


Comment by Darryl Dioso on June 21, 2012 at 10:07am

But if you remove all your contact info, how am I supposed to contact you in a timely manner? Signed, Darryl "Not so run of the mill" Dioso

Comment by Evelyn Amaro on June 21, 2012 at 11:05am

Ron, thanks for pointing out another great reason to remove your contact info when posting your resume on a job board! It would be a rather unsettling situation to have your employer discover that you are searching for a new role.


Randall, that is another great concern and one that I think most people have come in contact with. I agree that something should be done to monitor and stop this behavior. Thanks for posting!


Hi Darryl, When using a job board, there is a contact applicant button that is included. Recruiters would have to use that option to contact the candidate. This forces a recruiter to contact you if they are interested. We recommend that our candidates utilize this option if they wish to use job boards in their job search.

Comment by Raphael Fang on June 21, 2012 at 11:51am

I understand that a lot of people don't want to send out their contact information to strangers. However, recruitment is a time sensitive business, and I will always call the applicants before emailing them.  Email is a great communicating tool, but it is not as speedy as the old fashion phone.

Also, I don't believe agency recruiters, specially the low end ones, will send out resumes to prospects with the job seekers' contact information on them.   

Comment by Evelyn Amaro on June 21, 2012 at 12:12pm

Hi Raphael, thanks for commenting and I agree. We acually prefer to call a candidate directly as well. I should have mentioned in the article the various ways you can go about posting your resume while keeping your information private or confidental. Maybe I will write an article about that alone :-) One way to do that would be to refrain from posting your name and simply leaving a phone number. An unauthorized recruiter cannot send your resume without a name. There are sites that will let you post a resume as confidental, and with that option the only way a recruiter would be able to contact you would be via email. Not the best option for recruiters wanting to legitimately contact a candidate, but an option for protecting yourself online nonetheless.


Good agency recruiters will contact a candidate before sending their resume to a client, unfortuantely not all recruiters are ethical. We have had many problems with sending a candidate into a job, and learning that the candidate has already been submitted (sometimes numerous times) without the candidate ever knowing. When we break the news, the candidate will usually take their resumes off of job boards, but by then the damage is done. It is sad that we have to take these precautions.

Comment by Linda Stokes on June 22, 2012 at 10:28am

Great info Evelyn,

My recruiting niche is physicians, and I wrote a very similar article for my Blog.  Physicians are busy people, and some tell me they get 50 phone calls in a day. I find it interesting that the problem applies to all types of candidates. Thanks for some good information and generating very interesting points of view.  For further information for physicians, see my blog post http://academyphysicians.com/Physician_Recruiting_Journal/


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