Cyber-CVs prove a mixed blessing

When it comes to job hunting, the latest thing seems to be launching CVs into cyberspace.

When it comes to job hunting, the latest thing seems to be launching CVs into cyberspace.

People are sticking them on job boards, dropping them into online HR bins and submitting them to huge search databases that promise to match IT skills with the perfect opportunity.

A British survey says the days of jobseekers getting inky fingers from scouring the classifieds are near an end, as a sixth of professionals are now fulfilling their career ambitions online.

In addition, a fifth of firms in a recent UK survey says they will advertise skilled manual jobs on the Net. Online recruitment is now mainstream, especially for senior positions.

However, there appears to be a downside.

In the US come complaints of loss of privacy and online CVs ending up in the wrong hands.

Tales abound of employers asking their staff why their details are featured on a jobsearch Web site, or in a list of prospects culled from a staffing firms recruitment site.

Obviously, looking for a job is a secret you want to keep from your current employer.

Posting CVs online, especially in the early days of job boards, was like sticking your details on a huge advertising banner. Many people could see them, but not just employers.

Another drawback is that your personal and confidential details (name, address, phone number, email, employment history) could be available to anyone.

There are also few security measures to protect against theft.

A US-based employment Web site last week said CVs are commonly hijacked by unethical recruiters, staffing firms, competing job boards and other sites extracting IT data and candidate names for databases.

The Web site also said it is difficult to update posted resumes in a timely fashion, particularly if they had been pulled away to unknown and unintended places.

Consequently, say some career counsellors, many people are put off from using online recruitment.

In addition, people also see such services as impersonal.

They say it may still be better to stick to the traditional way of accessing potential employers, writing covering letters, following up on mailed CVs and maintaining important communication skills.

However, in response to privacy issues and data grabbing, some sites have developed security guarantees, and they often prevent CVs and valuable employee information from being stolen off job boards and databases


Professional and organisational sites sometimes also offer to “camouflage” identities and only release contact information with permission.

Here in New Zealand, it may still be better to deal directly with the employment agencies, most of whom are happy to receive CVs by email.

Steve Wallace, technical support engineer for Candle IT & T Recruitment in Auckland, says CVs and other details received by his company are treated as confidential. Details are only passed on with the permission of the submitter.

“CVs never go online and are held internally behind a firewall. Someone would need to break in into the organisation,” he says.

His company’s databases are available only to its staff and those of its Australia sister company.

“No CVs in recruitment companies in New Zealand are available online,” Wallace adds.

For those seeking a job, one safe place to look could be IDG’s JobUniverse database and Web site at

It can find jobs either by area, by name, skill category, etc; and also gives access to the Web sites of a variety of recruitment agencies.