Should I Post My Resume Online?

Who's Looking Over Your Digital Shoulder?

Who’s Looking Over Your Digital Shoulder?

Despite my stance not to do it, a senior technology client several weeks ago posted his new résumé online. 
 
He got two job offers within a week.  
 
Now how can I advise against posting your résumé online when you get results like that?
 
As with so much in life, and certainly job searching and career management, we deal in the murkey world of “it depends.”
 
Here are a few examples of questions that career practitioners answer every day:
 
Is LinkedIn a résumé? (I say no, other say yes)
Is the résumé dying? (I say it shouldn’t, others say it’s already gone)
 
Should I post my résumé online? (I say no!)
 
Millions of people do it, and to be fair job boards have any number of privacy settings and levels of résumé visibility.  
 
But I have fundamental problems with posting a résumé online, both for young professionals whose résumés will be archived into forever-ville (think background checks twenty years from now), as well as for professionals in the primes of their lives. 
 
Why?
 
Online activity and privacy is in a constant state of flux. There are hosts of unknowns. And when there are unknowns,  I am skeptical. 
 
From the what-you-don’t-know-can-hurt-you files come my top three reasons to think twice before posting your résumé online. 
 
1. Intention revealed. Transparency in business has its essential merits, but if you’re employed and conducting a stealth job search, it’s your worst enemy. Giving away the fact that you’re looking for greener pastures places your current position in an awkward place if it’s ever found out.   
 
 
2. Privacy compromised. Not only do you run the risk of prematurely revealing your intentions, but your good credit is potentially compromised since credit scores are partially constructed by our work histories. Giving full work histories gives identity thieves one more piece of your history. 
 
This is a reason that I recommend setting your public information in LinkedIn’s settings to “most recent job only.”
 
 
3. Competitive details exposed. Search firms and other institutions make their living conducting what some call “corporate espionage,” which is to say cobbling together pieces of data from unrelated sources to assemble information about one thing. In the case of search, it’s about assembling information on a potential candidate you want to approach about a search you’re working on, so that’s a good thing. 
 
But competitive information is also gathered from people’s résumés because, while we all know that listing proprietary information on a résumé is a no-no, we sometimes list information that could be cobbled with other information competitors could use to make competitive assumptions. 
 
Perhaps this was acceptable in the good ol’ days because the risks were low, given that résumés were distributed to a relatively narrow group of people (hiring entities) with a discrete purpose (hiring). 
 
Today, a few key strokes can send search terms racing across your résumé, giving a competitive business researcher more information not only about you, but about the companies for which you’ve worked. 
 
What’s the takeaway? 
 
I believe information on LinkedIn should be carefully conceived and written, which is why the profiles I write for clients are vastly different from their finished résumés. 
 
Have an accurate and truthful résumé so it’s ready when you begin job searching, or when a recruiter calls to learn more about you. 
 
But it’s really all about control when it comes to you online life, so be sure data is sanitized and curated for online consumption. 
 
Once your information is online, it’s out there. 
 
And since it’s digital, it can be archived into perpetuity. I don’t know any executives today who would like the résumé they wrote as twenty-two-years-old surfacing today. Nor do I know executives who want to unwittingly give away trade secrets via their online résumé.
 
 

Until next time!

Jared Redick
Visit: The Resume Studio.com | About Jared
Follow: @TheResumeStudio
Like Us: http://www.facebook.com/TheResumeStudio
Connect: LinkedIn.com/in/jaredredick
Call: 415-397-6640

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