MILWAUKEE, WI--June 13, 2006--Have you Googled yourself lately? The results may be surprising and might even pose a risk for job seekers--especially if the information found casts a negative light on the candidate.
There is a growing trend in the number of employers who are Googling (i.e. Internet keyword searching, typically through Google) candidates to research for additional information.
"I like to take a look and see what information is out there about the candidates," said Nic Romero, Talent Acquisition Specialist for North Star Resource Group. "If they have recognition through sports or the community, that's great information that adds credibility to the candidate."
However, while the searches are often used to learn about accomplishments not listed within the limited space of a resume, name searching does not select for positive versus negative results. In searching for candidate achievements, other--potentially embarrassing--pages may come up.
Brian Krueger, President of CollegeGrad.com points out other savvy research techniques. "One of the favorite tricks of employers is to take the resume page of a candidate (such as www.freesite.com/janeqpublic/resume.html - not a real site) and backtrack it to the person's primary page (www.freesite.com/janeqpublic/ in this case). "Even if the resume page is 'clean,' the primary page may be filled with all sorts of other tidbits about the person that they may be quite embarrassed about if their future employer was reviewing."
In the very public world of the Internet, millions of college students and other web-savvy young adults also maintain creative personal web pages within Internet social networking communities, such as Facebook and MySpace. Users create personal profiles that are sometimes questionable, and that often include photographs, videos, or blogs (short for web-logs) on dating experiences, politics or musings on what really bugs them about their parents, roommates, professors or even their employers.
Job seekers beware, notes Krueger. "While there is still more hype than reality around employers using these sites to research potential hires, it is a growing trend. More and more employers are going deep into the Internet to dig for more information about potential candidates."
Some career center experts stress that employers would be walking a fine ethical line if they used Internet social networking sites, or other Internet searching techniques as part of their screening process. But the majority remind students that the Internet blurs the line between what is public and what is private.
"My recommendation to new entry level job seekers is that they start by cleaning up any personal Web sites they control, then Googling their own information which may be located on other sites," said Krueger. "If information (and--yikes!--photos) about that all night party are posted on someone else's site, usually a polite request for removal will suffice."
CollegeGrad.com is currently running a poll on their home page about changing Facebook and MySpace content due to job search. And a large number of college students and recent grads are starting to take notice of their public Internet image.
CollegeGrad.com is the #1 entry level job site on the Internet and is the leader in the field of entry level job search. Brian Krueger is President and Founder of CollegeGrad.com and author of the best-selling book for entry level job search, College Grad Job Hunter.
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