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After doctors, recruiters are Britain’s biggest data custodians

The recruitment sector now rivals the medical world for access to sensitive data. And our CVs are getting more exposure than ever, being sent out in a variety of new ways. It has become vital to take care over the content and accuracy of the CV.

Over 36 million CVs are updated on per year and 89% of jobseekers think that their phones are an important tool when it comes to getting a job, meaning that increasing numbers of CVs and the personal information they include are travelling across networks each day.

Not only are our CVs getting sent out in higher frequencies, but they are including more and more information with top recruiters recommending that a standard CV should include your email address, home address, phone number and employment history. And where is all this data stored?

Recruitment service CareerBuilder found that 16% of recruiters want to see a candidate’s personal blogs, portfolios and websites too. Not only are these details being required, but they are also necessary; with 60% of recruiters saying that what they look for on a CV is that the candidate is the right cultural fit. This compares to only 21% who said they check prestige of education.

They are asking for more information, but it has also been revealed that they will be looking for the details that you do not provide. Jobvite found that 43% of recruiters will check a candidate’s Facebook profile. Once they have found it, they will scour it for any imperfections; 72% of recruiters have disqualified candidates after finding typos on their Facebook. It is not a one-way street though, with 18% of candidates saying that they will look up their recruiters on social media during the application process.

Before you start working, it is likely that whomever recruited you will have details of your employment history, contact details and your social activities. Once you start a job, HR are the only department that know your salary, emergency contact details and any possible disability information. With our personal data at their fingertips, we need to ask how compliant are recruitment firms to GDPR regulations? Where do HR and recruitment specialists store this personal data? And what rights do we have to our data once it goes to recruitment and HR specialists?

Many firms keep their data on cloud storage systems, but do they physically know where this storage is and how safe is it? Currently much of Britain’s cloud data is physically stored in EU countries such as Ireland and Belgium.

We are yet to reach an agreement on how we will access this data in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The EU has granted 12 non-EU countries an adequacy deal, but, at the moment, this has not been granted to the UK in the event of Brexit.

A well written CV and cover letter is essential to most job application processes, but what most people don’t realise is the sheer amount of personal information that can be found in them. Looking after these details is key to our cyber security and protection from identity theft or hacking. The firms who deal with this sensitive information regularly and in large amounts, such as recruitment consultants, need to ensure this data is handled properly.

Firms should consider solutions such as private servers and increased cyber security to tackle this ever-changing problem. Not only do data breaches have the potential to destroy trust with loyal customers, they also expose individuals to the possibility of serious cases of fraud and cyber-crime.

For jobseekers, being aware of your data footprint is key in the 21st century. With an increasing amount of our lives being spent online, it can be easy to lose track of a misplaced tweet or a risqué Facebook post. Being diligent, particularly when applying for a job is vital, but many potential employers need to see a presence, so striking a balance will become a crucial skill in the future.

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