Secrets of the Job Hunt


Monday, October 08, 2007

Latest stats on 'googling' candidates

Getting googled can create a good or bad impression on your job hunt. I wanted to share these new stats on exactly what employers are doing these days when it comes to digging for digital dirt.

MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Making a good impression on
the job hunt may include managing your digital reputation. Half (50
percent) of advertising and marketing executives recently polled said they
search online for information about prospective hires at least some of the
time. Among those, 14 percent have decided not to hire someone based on
their findings.

The survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing
service providing marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on
a project basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and
includes 250 responses -- 125 from advertising executives with the nation's
2,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 from senior marketing executives
with the nation's 2,000 largest companies.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "How frequently, if at
all, do you use Google or another search engine to learn additional
information about a prospective hire?" Their responses:

Always 19%
Sometimes 31%
Rarely 24%
Never 24%
Don't know 2%

Those who do search online for information about prospective hires also
were asked, "Have you ever decided not to hire a candidate based on
information you found online?" Their responses:

Yes 14%
No 84%
Don't know 2%

Dave Willmer, executive director of The Creative Group, said that
professionals should keep all audiences in mind when posting information
online. "Search engines make it quick and easy to learn about people," he
said. "If there's something that you wouldn't want a potential employer to
know about you, don't post that information in a public forum."

According to Willmer, some hiring managers search online to gain a
better sense of a candidate's industry involvement and interests.

"Employers aren't just looking for red flags," he said. "They're also
seeking evidence that a potential staff member is invested in the
profession, perhaps through participation in trade groups, or industry
blogs or message boards."

Willmer provided the following tips for creating an impressive "digital

-- Stack the deck in your favor. Websites such as allow
users to post information about themselves, so consider including
details about your professional involvement and qualifications on these
types of forums.

-- Make the most of social networking sites. Sites such as
are good venues for learning about job openings and making new
contacts. But be selective in who you allow into your network.
Potential employers who have access to your contact list may ask these
professionals for referrals.

-- Share your insights. Posting your comments on industry forums or
authoring online articles in your area of expertise is a smart way to
reinforce your professional reputation.

-- Create your own website. Along with showcasing industry knowledge on
other people's websites, you also can create your own Internet presence
with links to articles of interest, and information about your skills
and past achievements. For creative professionals, a website with work
samples is especially beneficial, as many employers will want to see
prior projects before arranging a job interview.

-- Be prepared to explain. If there is unflattering information about you
online that you cannot remove, be prepared to offer an explanation to
employers who might inquire about it.

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