Friday, April 20, 2007

Down and Dirty

Recently a colleague of mine was recruiting for a fairly entry level supervisor role managing a team of telemarketers. After reviewing the resumes, only one stood out and my colleague was seriously considering bringing the candidate in for an interview even though he currently lives hundreds of miles away in another city.

Since she could tell from the experience level on the resume that the candidate was fairly young, she decided to conduct a Google search on the candidate, assuming he probably had some sort of on-line presence. Despite the fact that the candidate had a very common name, she was able to quickly locate his MySpace page. What she found there was less than flattering. The page was filled with several derogatory comments towards women and accounts of recent drinking escapades. My colleague never called the candidate in for an interview.

I recognize that living your life out in front of people is part of the Millennium culture. Maybe the culprit is You Tube or reality TV. But how will young job seekers cope with an interview where the goal is to maximize accomplishments and minimize blemishes? How will their MySpace page reflect on them if a hiring authority chooses to conduct an on-line search?

If you find that your job search is compromised by a questionable on-line persona, there are tools available to help. Ziggs, ClaimID, Ziki, Naymz, and Zoom Info help people manage their on-line presence by creating new, cleaner listings that can overcome the positioning of the less flattering ones . But since it's probably easier to remove a tattoo than to clean up a damaged on-line identity, make every effort now to proactively manage your on-line identity and keep it dirt-free.

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