GateHouse News Service's weekly Biz Bits, with tips on online job-hunting, car advertising and the world's most expensive cities.
When you're job-hunting you go to great lengths to stand out among the hundreds -- even thousands -- of applicants for a single open position. But while you're working to catch an employer's eye, have you considered the importance of protecting your information from unwanted attention? Or the need to manage the online reputation you do want employers to see?
Searching online can be a great way to find your dream job, but it also requires you to take extra precautions to protect your personal information and to manage your online reputation. Enterprising identity thieves and scam artists may take advantage of personal, identifying information posted on job boards and online resume sites. And with social media making potentially embarrassing information and images widely available, it's important for job-seekers to manage what potential employers may find if they were to perform an online search of a candidate's name.
Protecting your personal information
When you post a resume on a job board, the information is usually public and viewable by anyone who wants to see it. Some websites allow you to control what is viewable and who can see it, limiting access only to potential employers who have registered with the site. Others do not restrict who can access resumes. It's important to know the privacy policies and settings of any employment website where you will post your resume or apply for jobs.
Consider how much personally identifying information you will share. Information such as your name and past work history may be essential, but keep in mind that no potential employer should ever ask for your Social Security number or financial information during the initial phases of your interaction. If a response to your resume comes with a request for your SSN or account number, be very skeptical and ask why this information is needed so early in the application process.
While conducting your online job search, it's important to keep an eye on your credit and financial accounts, because that's where identity fraud will first show up.
Protecting your current job
Consider how your current employer will react if someone from your company comes across your active resume online.
While your current employer likely won't fire you just for posting your resume on a job site, the situation can -- at the very least -- be uncomfortable. Before you begin circulating your resume or posting on job boards, be sure you know how your current employer would react if your information was found online. If you wish to keep your job search private, make sure to review the privacy settings of any job search websites you're using.
Conduct your search as honorably as possible, sending resumes, emails, etc. on your own time -- and not when you're supposed to be working for your current boss. Likewise, maintain a separate email address that you use solely for your job search; never use a work email address during a job search.
Protecting your prospects
By now you've likely read or heard media reports of prospective employers searching social media sites for information on job applicants. It's important to manage what employers may view in social media. If you haven't already done so, restrict access to your social media accounts so that your posts and photos can only be viewed by people you've granted permission to. Be sure to set privacy settings to their most restrictive.
Privacy controls notwithstanding, remember that when it comes to the Internet there's no such thing as 100 percent private. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when using social media is if you would be embarrassed to have your mother or boss view the content, don't post it.
Car advertising may focus on style, speed and brand, but it's the initial price and costs of operating a vehicle that are the key interests for people car shopping, according to the results of a recent poll taken by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Chicago and northern Illinois.
Price was the leading factor, with 29 percent of survey respondents picking it as their primary consideration. This was followed by gas mileage, stated by 17 percent, and costs of service and warranty, cited by another 12 percent. These economic factors totaled 58 percent of the concerns survey respondents had when looking for a new vehicle.
"Buying a vehicle is a major purchase an individual or family can make, so it is reassuring that economic considerations are primary for buyers," said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Chicago BBB. "Other factors, like looks and performance may be influences, but our poll shows it is dollar concerns that outweigh other factors."
While the features of a new car were picked by 19 percent of the respondents as a consideration, they were outweighed by the cost issues by a three-to-one margin. Also taking a backseat in car buying considerations were online ratings of dealers, selected by 9 percent as important; previous dealer relationship, 8 percent; and picking the same brand as a previous car, 6 percent.
Visit BBB's website for more consumer tips at www.bbb.org.
According to CNN Money, these are the world's most expensive cities to live in:
2. Osaka, Japan
4. Oslo, Norway (tie)
4. Melbourne, Australia (tie)
9. Caracas, Venezuela
Number to Know
100: The 16th amendment, which created the income tax, was ratified 100 years ago this month. Happy 100th birthday to income tax!
Chinese news website sjbbs.zol.com has 13 images of a handset that looks incredibly similar to the iPhone 5, which it believes is Apple's next-gen smartphone, the iPhone 5S. The images were reportedly taken inside a Foxconn factory, further adding credence to the story. (Foxconn is Apple's manufacturing partner in China.)
While the images don't show any drastic changes to the outward appearance of the phone, they do provide a rather in-depth look at the insides of the iPhone, detailing chip placement and where certain circuit boards are placed. This type of in-depth look is usually provided when a repair website, such as iFixit, gets its hands on a newly released device. This, therefore, is a treat for Apple fans and the media alike if the pictures are real.
GateHouse News Service