Seth Godin posted recently about the effect that the internet can have on your job search. He explained:
A friend advertised on Craigslist for a housekeeper.
Three interesting resumes came to the top. She googled each person’s name.
The first search turned up a MySpace page. There was a picture of the applicant, drinking beer from a funnel. Under hobbies, the first entry was, “binge drinking.”
The second search turned up a personal blog (a good one, actually). The most recent entry said something like, “I am applying for some menial jobs that are below me, and I’m annoyed by it. I’ll certainly quit the minute I sell a few paintings.”
Employers are doing their homework before hiring new employees. If you are an employer and you’re not looking at a candidate’s online profile, you should read some our previous posts (see the list, below), which discuss the reasons for and against screening job applicants on the web.
There’s another important, and less common, lesson here, as well. Godin’s story demonstrates how wide spread the effects can be of seemingly innocuous internet communications. If you are posting pictures of yourself in a drunken stupor and you keep those pictures online while you’re job hunting, it just may be that you aren’t the ideal candidate. Let’s just say it’s a judgment issue. If you don’t know what your online profile looks like (or your company’s profile, for that matter), then you need get online now. Run a Google search. Run a Yahoo search. Search the blogs. Then set up a Google Alert to make sure you find out if any new information about you enters the world-wide web.
Don’t know how to set up a Google Alert? Watch our video: How to Use Google Alerts to Monitor Your Online Reputation.
And for employers who are considering the practice of Online Applicant Screening but who don’t know where to start, be sure to catch the easy-to-understand video, Video Resources: How to Set Up a Facebook Account for Applicant Screening, available under the Resources > Video Resources tab at the top of the page.