Pitfalls of on-line job searches

The Internet has transformed the once private experience of job hunting into an unregulated bazaar where personal information can be seen by thousands - including those who have no intentions of hiring, report says.

Pam Dixon, head of the World Privacy forum said job search Web sites are a double-edged sword: They allow resumes to be viewed by hundreds or even thousands of employers, but may also sell detailed personal information to marketers and, potentially, to identity thieves.

Among Dixon's findings:

Some resume job boards invite company recruiters to buy access to resume databases and appear to do little or nothing to verify that all "recruiters" are legitimate, sometimes selling access to names, addresses, and background details to marketers and raising the possibility of sales to criminals.

The moral: do your homework. A reputable recruiting and placement firm can ensure the privacy and protection you may find lacking in job board posting sites.