March 28, 2007 in Blogs, Work

Internet Reputation

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Further confirmation that what we say on our personal blogs can affect our future career prospects.

Careless online talk can cost candidates jobs
By Andrew Taylor, Employment Correspondent
Published: March 28 2007 03:00 | Last updated: March 28 2007 03:00
Be careful what you write about yourself on personal blogs or on websites such as MySpace – it could cost you the job you always wanted.
Potential employers, searching the web for personal information about job applicants, are likely to take a dim view of accounts of drunken nights at Spearmint Rhino or character assassinations of former managers, says a new study.
One-fifth of managers had sought “personal information about job candidates on the web” according to the survey of more than 600 employers by Viadeo, which operates an online information exchange and forum for businesses.
One-quarter of employers who had used the web to search for personal details had “actually rejected applicants, based on dubious personal information”.

Reasons given by employers for discarding a candidate included personal revelations about “alcohol abuse and disrespect for his job”. Another applicant was found to be “on the local police wanted list”.
Sarah Hayman, at Indigo Red, a recruitment company, said one of its clients had investigated the MySpace page of a job applicant “and was instantly put off by her profile, which claimed that she only ever read celebrity magazines”.
Jacqueline Thomson from public relations company Brands2Life said: “We had one case recently where we decided not to recruit someone on the basis of them using MySpace and Facebook to criticise previous employers and discuss company information.”
In another instance a recruitment consultant, reported last year that a leading computer company had run the name of an applicant for a programming job through Google to find she had taken part in topless modelling competitions.
The company had dozens of equally good applicants and rejected the candidate because it was a potentially complicating factor.
Peter Cunningham, manager for Viadeo in the UK, said: “Millions of people are inadvertently contributing to their NetRep [internet reputation] every day by leaving personal information online much of which is cached and remains avail-able via search engines even after the author has removed the webpage.
“The rise of search engines such as Google means that potential employers are never more than a few clicks away from information about you.
“People must manage their NetReps – online information must be tailored to work to their advantage.”
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

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