Most people are uneasy at the thought of sharing personal information over the internet. Most of the time, that’s a good thing, but when it comes to looking for a work at home job you’re going to have to share some information. How do you know which information you should share when you’re applying for a work at home job?

Is Professionally Embarrassing Information Already Out There?

A lot of people have discovered that information they’ve shared online socially can impact them professionally. Some employers do check applicants out online, to see what’s out there.

No one has perfect control over what appears on a search for their name online. I’m not currently on the first page for my name, one of the curses of having a very common name. But since I’m not exactly going for the guru thing I’ve never stressed about getting my name up there in the rankings.

But the factors you do control you should take into consideration. Look over how you’re presenting yourself on social networks and anywhere else you appear online. Work at home jobs will mostly be concerned with your professionalism, and depending on the position you’re applying for these things can be quite relevant.

Pay Attention to Who You’re Sharing Information With

We all worry about being scammed when looking for stay at home jobs. It’s normal. There are a lot of scams out there.

This makes sharing even normal personal information requested on any other job application more difficult when you’re talking about applying online. You just don’t have the reassurance that you get from applying with a company you can more easily get information about and maybe even drive right by their location, as you could do with a local, outside the home job.

Fortunately, you can do a pretty good job of researching potential employers if you know how. The ones that more regularly hire work at home employees are usually well known on the work at home forums. Make sure you know the company’s name and do a little research on them before you apply for a job.

When in doubt, see if you can submit the online application without all the information filled out, and use the comment box (if available) to explain why you have left certain information out. A Social Security Number, for example, is necessary for a company to deal with taxes, and may be requested if a background check is being done. It’s really not necessary to share it otherwise, and you can take the chance of offering to provide it only if you make it that far in the hiring process that it become a necessary piece of information.

Keep It Professional

One important thing to do when you’re looking for a job online is to make sure you give a professional appearance with the information you do provide. This means you don’t want to have an email address that’s fun to have socially but might make a potential employer lose interest in you. An email address based on your name is best for most purposes, and it can be nice to keep your job hunting emails separate from the usual personal stuff anyhow.

Potential employers also aren’t going to be interested in your home situation. Even if they’re hiring you for a home based position, they don’t need to know about your kids or how you’re going to handle caring for them while you work. That’s your problem and the expectation is that you’ll handle it.

What they do want to know is why you’re the right employee for them to hire. Make a good impression in that area by emphasizing your relevant skills. Potential employers need employees who know how to separate their family life from their work at home life. If you can’t do that in the application process, they may feel that you won’t keep them appropriately separated when you’re working.

Hunting for a job always means sharing some personal information. Someone offering you a job (not a business opportunity) without wanting to know about your work history probably doesn’t have a real job to offer you. Make sure you know what the appropriate limits are, and if it feels wrong to share a particular piece of information, find out if it’s really necessary to share it.