Friday Professional Group

Can your internet presence lose you the job?

By: Kimberley Dart

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It’s a whole new world out there.  Just recently I was cleaning out the drawers in an old desk that my mother gave me and I came across 5 job ads that were cut out of the classifieds of the newspaper.  These ads were about 20 years old – so really, not THAT old.  One posting actually asked for a handwriting sample.  Times sure have changed.  Back then to learn about a job applicant you had to scrutinize the resume and really grill the references.  I know of one company owner who even took a course on handwriting analysis to try to get the inside scoop on a potential employee.

Today all an employer has to do to learn more about an applicant is to type his name into Google (or another similar search engine).  Most people today (my mother included) have an online presence.  It may be as simple as a Facebook profile, or they may have several links.

Have you ever “Googled” your name?  Go ahead and try it, you might be surprised at what comes up.  Whatever you see is exactly what a Recruiter or business owner will see. 

In a recent blog post, Alison Green of Ask a Manager addresses how your online presence may actually end up hurting your career prospects.  She received a question from a reader about whether or not to tell a candidate that they were not going to extend an offer of employment because of the questionable content of the applicant’s MySpace page.  You can read the post by clicking here.

So remember, when sending your resume to an employer, before you click “send” be sure to look at what comes up when you search your name.  You might be surprised at what you find.  If you don’t have an online presence, start a LinkedIn account, as some online presence is actually better than none at all (plus LinkedIn is a great way to network). 

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