In fact, according to an online reputation survey done in December 2009 (commissioned by Microsoft), 79% of U.S. hiring managers and job recruiters contacted said they researched the online identities of job applicants. An astounding 70% of those hiring managers and recruiters said they rejected candidates based on what they found.
So, what kind of online identity information are employers and companies basing their rejection of job candidates?
59% - Inappropriate comments / text written by the candidate
52% - Unsuitable photos / videos / information
51% - Concerns about the candidate’s lifestyle
38% - Comments criticizing previous employers / co-workers / clients
35% - Inappropriate comments / text written by friends / relatives
35% - Inappropriate comments / text written by colleagues / work acquaintances
35% - Groups / Networks the candidate was a member of
34% - Discovered that information the candidate shared was false
31% - Poor communication skills displayed online15% - Concern about the candidate’s financial background
The vast bulk of the reasons cited are able to be controlled by the you, the job seeker. The type of content you choose to share online and the people you choose to associate with does have an impact on your perceived hireability. In fact, 6 of the 8 reasons given are choices you actively make. The unfortunate aspect is that you may not be aware of how much these choices can harm your job search efforts.
If you have not done a Google search of yourself (put your name in quotation marks), do so immediately. You may be surprised at what you find. A client of mine did this recently at my urging and discovered that his name – and online identity – was shared by an adult film videographer! No wonder he was not getting interviews!
by Susan Guarneri, Career Goddess Blog