Is it safe to put your resume/CV online?
September 17, 2022 10:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm beginning to look for another job. My wife suggests putting my full formatted CV, or at least my resume, on my personal public website. I'm worried about doing that; it feels somehow unsafe, but when pressed, I must admit I can't point out exactly why that would be. So it is safe?

I'm technical staff at an academic institution. My personal site has pointers to my publications, some of the projects I've worked on, a short bio about me, contact address (at work), links to LinkedIn and GitHub—basically the usual stuff you find on your typical academic's personal site. But I have this weird and possibly unfounded vague fear that putting my full CV online would give away too much personal information and put me and my family at risk of … something. I'm curious if there's any reason to really believe that, or if I'm just being irrational.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You’re being irrational.

Unless your CV contains complete addresses of everywhere you’ve ever lived and your social security number (or whatever your country’s version of a national identifier is, if not in the US), there’s really nothing anyone can do with the relatively limited personal information that would be on your CV. Like, yes, it has detailed information about your educational and work history but…So what? I guess someone could use it to try to impersonate you? But it’s still pretty surface-level detail that would require a lot more background knowledge to not fall apart under any scrutiny.

I wouldn’t necessarily put your home address on there (although that’s more about avoiding junk mail than any real risk, since I can pretty much guarantee there’s already a publicly-accessible database somewhere online that has that info) but otherwise there’s nothing to worry about at all.
posted by tubedogg at 12:26 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

I think every academic I know with a website has their full CV on it (math & math-adjacent fields mostly, if that's relevant).
posted by augustimagination at 12:28 AM on September 18

Understand your feelings and my instinct is the same. However, the only real harm I can conceive is if you (a) left in contact details that you wouldn’t also cheerfully put on a billboard in the centre of town — but that’s obvious; or (b) include information that would be useful from a social engineering point of view.

For the latter, the best defence might be from the other end: don’t choose any account security questions based on work history or “which city did you…”, because they might be more guessable with your CV in hand.
posted by breakfast burrito at 5:28 AM on September 18

I wouldn’t think twice about doing this as someone who works in academia. Take off any non public contact information and you’re just packaging up the information already available through your other links to make it easier for someone to review.

But if you’re not comfortable with it and you’re not desperate for another job ASAP you could just leave it off for now, and add it later if you’re not getting any bites.
posted by Stacey at 5:47 AM on September 18

I've had my CV in one form or another online for over 20 years and never felt it was a potential issue. I didn't include any contact details other than an email address.

But I'm a white, middle-aged, middle-class, straight, cis man, with no terrible exes, no problematic previous jobs, no skeletons in my closet that I can recall. For some people, in different situations, it would justifiably feel more risky to put more personal info online.

But it sounds like you already have a lot of stuff about you online, willingly, so it sounds like you're not in the latter category. Go for it!
posted by fabius at 6:11 AM on September 18

If this was truly an issue, Linked In would not exist.
posted by ananci at 7:23 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]

I’m pretty cautious but I consider it safe.

Certainly don’t include a home address.

For added caution, I might not mention if I did a hobby that’s very traceable - for instance, if you do a specific hobby that can only be done at one address in town.

You could also make your CV downloadable rather than readable online, so it’s an extra step for someone to read it - that way nobody casually glances at it, they have to deliberately want to read it.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 7:46 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Academia may be a little different, but in general you're better off doing a really great update to your LinkedIn than a resume on your personal website.

The most obvious risk is that if your coworkers don't know you're looking for a new job, they might notice and it could sour your work relationship with them. Other than that, no, not really as long as you don't put your primarily email address on it.
posted by Candleman at 10:46 AM on September 18

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