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Job hunters should use caution


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 8, 1999

Online job hunters have some decisions to make: Should you post your resume at a specific site? Should you submit your resume to a service and have it distribute it for you? Should you worry about your privacy once you send your resume into cyberspace?

Experts say it is best to start cautiously.

Dr. Randall S. Hansen, associate professor of marketing at Stetson University in DeLand, started a site(http://www.stetson.edu/~rhansen/careers.html) to provide job-hunting information and tips and to promote career-related books he has written, but it has mushroomed into hundreds of pages and links. He suggests that job-seekers:

* Start with some of the major job sites, such as CareerMosaic or Monster.com, that have a lot of listings.

* Find sites that are specific to the industry you are interested in.

* Go to specific companies and check out the career portion of their sites.

* If you don't want your current boss to see your resume online, make sure to check the site's confidentiality protections. "If you're at a company and you're job-hunting," he said, "you have to be discreet off the Net and you have to be discreet on the Net."

Gerry Crispin, co-author of Career Xroads, says consumers should stick to free sites.

"They should really question what they're getting if someone says, "I'm going to do something for you but you're going to have to pay me,' " Crispin said.

In addition, consumers need to be aware of their privacy when posting a resume with personal information online. Someone could use the information to create a fake identity.

"We don't have too many examples of problems yet, but they're going to crop up," Crispin said.

Services promising to post resumes in multiple data bases should be avoided, too. "Why in God's name do you want your name in 35 data bases you have no knowledge about?" he said.

"Consumers should really think about where they place this core of information about themselves and their life and their goals. It should be only in data bases that guarantee some degree of confidentiality and privacy and allow the job-seeker to have some control of who sees what."

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