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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Careers Today–Seeking Services Offering Online R?sum? Privacy

Dear Joyce: I am interested in getting my r & #233;sum & #233; out on the Internet, but I absolutely, positively do not want my present employer or just anyone to see it. Advice?

, H.H.P.

To avoid a privacy breach that could prove caustic to your career, avoid circulating your r & #233;sum & #233; through newsgroups and career sites that have not posted drum-tight privacy policies.

Most big commercial career sites have such policies , see JobOptions (www.joboptions.com) for an example of a good privacy policy. Some sites allow you to shop your r & #233;sum & #233; to hundreds of employers at once, but, once it is released, you can’t control your r & #233;sum & #233;. Moreover, many r & #233;sum & #233;s are appropriated by unscrupulous headhunters, duplicated and reposted by roving spiders.

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Some critics warn against paying certain r & #233;sum & #233; distribution services to send out your r & #233;sum & #233;, calling them a waste of money. Only hard-to-place jobseekers would pay, and employers view them as losers, critics say.

I disagree , if you use a service dedicated to privacy and security. One such firm is Canada-based Resume Courier, which does the majority of its business with U.S. recruiterss and corporations. For about $50, you decide who sees your personal information. The average customer has 16 years’ experience and seeks a minimum of $75,000 pay.

Check out the site for details, but essentially you fill out a form indicating whom you want to see your r & #233;sum & #233;, attach it, sit back and wait. The service E-mails you each time your document leaves its electronic home port, and for a small charge you can get a list of the firms receiving your r & #233;sum & #233;. You can have multiple r & #233;sum & #233;s on file at one time.

Robert A. Bronstein of Pro/File Research (profileresearch.com) also distributes r & #233;sum & #233;s, but to a targeted list that he provides, based on your geographic preferences, position and industry. He does paper, E-mail and fax mailings. Bronstein says a survey of members of the Professional Association of Resume Writers indicates an almost equal split in preference between paper and E-mail, with few favoring fax.

What are the pluses and minuses of each type? Here’s Bronstein’s analysis:

– Paper. Benefits include attractive formatting and sharp visual presentation, a stronger touch-and-feel statement. Paper is the preferred method of communication for senior executives. Limitations include highest cost and slowest distribution. Postal-mailed r & #233;sum & #233;s and cover letters can only be entered into a database if the recipient is willing to scan them, which means cleaning up scanning mistakes.

– Fax. Benefits include immediacy, good graphic presentation, less cost than postal mail and a fax is harder to ignore than E-mail. Limitations: Fax costs are higher than E-mail, hard to connect with the right corporate fax number, not everyone has a fax and the transmission failure rate is higher than returned snail mail.

– E-mail. Benefits are immediacy, lowest- cost method for career marketing, and messages can be saved in a database for future use. E-mail limitations include ignoring with delete key and difficulty in getting hiring authority’s E-mail address. Not everyone has an E-mail address. More E-mail goes undelivered, as opposed to snail mail, because it is easier to change an E-mail address than a physical address. Privacy is becoming such a huge concern that you should carefully read a Web site’s privacy policy. While posted, the policies are legally enforceable.

But the policies can be changed at will and without warning , just one of many reasons why even the business-boosting Business Week pronounces Web self-regulation a sham, calling for federal legislation to foil cybersnoops. You should not have to give up your “digital DNA” to post a r & #233;sum & #233; or shop for goods online, a source in the magazine proclaims. Someone finally is paying attention to privacy-rights advocates.

Kennedy is a Cardiff-based syndicated writer and author of career guidance books. E-mail career questions for possible use in this column to her at (jlk@sunfeatures.com).

& #352;2000, Los Angeles Times Syndicate


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