Protect Yourself with an Online-Appropriate Resume!

Jun 15, 2022 | Career Development, Professional Portfolio

For all the good the internet does us, it’s no secret that there are more than a few less-than-savory people lurking in its depths. You likely already have systems and strategies to keep yourself and your personal information safe online, but are you extending those protections to the online version of your resume?

While it is necessary to add your resume to your digital portfolio, that doesn’t mean you should include all the information from your print version. When you physically hand your resume to a potential employer, the understanding is that they (and their hiring team) are the only ones who will see it. When you post it online, you have no control over who sees it – or what they’ll do with the information listed there.

Once something is on the internet, it’s there for good. Even if you delete it, the information may still be saved or retrieved. So repurposing your resume for a digital audience is a must if you want to ensure your safety and privacy. Here’s how to do it.

Remove Personal Identifiable Information

I highly suggest that not include things like your addresses, phone numbers, or other identifiable information. You can (and should) include a link on your resume to the contact page on your digital portfolio and let potential employers get in touch with you that way.

If you decide you need to include a phone number, consider setting up a free Google Voice phone number. Google Voice acts as forwarding service, allowing you to avoid sharing your personal phone number.

Make sure you add a subheading to your resume that indicates that this is just a digital version and that a more detailed version is available on request. Use language like “Online Resume” or “Digital Portfolio Resume” and include a link to your contact page.

If you feel like it’s absolutely necessary to include an email address, I suggest creating one specifically for your online resume. While most companies are on the up-and-up, you’re likely to get a lot of spam, as well. A dedicated email address makes it easier to keep track of your job search while preventing unwanted messages from reaching your personal inbox.

Trim Down Your Job Experience

In addition to removing personally identifiable information from your digital resume, you should also remove the exact company names and dates employed for privacy purposes. For example, if your print resume reads:

Transamerica Life Insurance Company, San Francisco, CA: March 1998 – April 2006

    • Corporate Law Paralegal 2: February 2004 – April 2006 
    • Corporate Law Paralegal 1:  March 1998 – February 2004

Then your digital resume should read:

Employed by a national insurance provider: Eight years

    • Corporate Law Paralegal 2: Two years
    • Corporate Law Paralegal 1: Six years

You’re including the same information, but it’s less detailed. Remember, this is only a digital version of your resume. You’ll still have the opportunity to present your full resume to a potential employer once introductions are made.

Don’t forget to add a few sentences describing the duties you performed for these employers, and the things you accomplished during your time with them. Quantify whenever possible. Don’t say “increased sales each year” when you can say “increased sales by X percent in each quarter over the course of Y years.”

It’s OK to Be Vague

Most employers understand that people do their best to stay safe online, so don’t worry about being intentionally vague when it comes to your personal information.

If you don’t want to include the name of your college or university, just add the highest degree you obtained. And if you’re worried that the dates you attended will reveal more about your age than you’re comfortable with, leave those out, too. Remember to also include any training, special certifications, or credentials you’ve attained. Most employers are more interested in the recent things you’ve done and the knowledge you possess than the college you attended.

A digital resume is easy to share and a great way for recruiters and potential employers to seek you out and make first contact. Keep yours safe by taking the time to remove personal information and protect your privacy!

© 2022 Julie Perrine International, LLC

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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures. 

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