Posting Your Resume Publicly
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Dear Mark: Am I playing with fire about the fact that I'm currently employed and have a public resume online? I haven't blocked any info as I want to be upfront with potential employers. But on the one hand I am worried about the horror story of the boss calling me in waving the resume he printed off, then on the other, what could he do? Does he really own me? Can I be let go because I have a resume online assuming that I'm looking for other/better/different employment?
-- Johanne P., Acton, Ontario
''Playing with fire'' is an appropriate analogy for the situation you've described. Or maybe more like ''playing with possibly getting fired.'' I'll explain.
A job seeker who is employed needs to keep their wits about them when searching for work. I've provided a number of tips on how to conduct a stealth job search while employed in a previous column of mine here on Workopolis.com.
What I didn't address in full before is that to hunt for a new and better position, there is always a degree of risk involved. Someone might find out somehow and bring it your employer's attention. You may have to take time off to go for interviews and your absences might raise suspicions. Or if you work in a casual dress environment, showing up in a suit or fancy outfit could signal an alarm. I remember one office I worked in there was this guy who'd actually go and report to the boss if someone was wearing what appeared to be ''interview clothes'' that day.
It's similar in some ways for posting your resume on a job bank like Workopolis.com. You have the option of making your contact info readily available for the employers and recruiting firms who pay to use this private resume database. Which means that someone could, conceivably, find out inadvertently this way that you're looking.
Also, if your firm uses recruiting agencies that have full access to the Workopolis.com resume database, there's a possibility that one of the recruiters will stumble across your resume if they are seeking candidates that match your qualifications.
Which is why Workopolis.com and others provide an alternate format for listing your resume: confidentially. Your contact information stays concealed and if an employer wants to get in touch with you, they must first go through Workopolis. Then you make the decision on whether to allow that particular requester to view your contact details. A little extra work on the employer's part, but it does protect you from being accidentally discovered.
And if are ''caught'' in the act? Well, keep in mind that the reason you're looking for work in any case is because something in your current circumstances is dissatisfying. So let's say your boss does storm in and confront you with a copy of your resume they've pulled off the Web. Can they fire you on the spot because of this? Heck, they can terminate your employment at any moment for any reason they can dream of. It's only after the fact that you might have recourse. Through the courts, for example, where you could try suing for wrongful dismissal. That's why most bosses are advised not to inform you why they're letting you go.
Exposure is critical when looking for new employment. If you happen to have a job while you're seeking greener pastures, you will need to decide if the risk of being discovered doing so is worth the additional publicity.
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