The world wide web is an amazing tool. The amount of access to information is incredible. From a job seekers perspective it can be a rich resource for researching target companies, identifying job leads, and networking through social media sites like LinkedIn. For savvy web browsers they can identify salary information, job qualifications and requirements and even decision makers within a company. The Web is also a rich source for job search and career advice ranging from resume help to practice interview questions.
But it also can present a challenge for some job seekers. It is becoming more and more difficult to maintain our privacy on the Web. Some people believe that anyone can find anyone on the Web. It is becoming more common for prospective employers and recruiters to surf the Web looking for information on candidates beyond the typical background check. More and more clients are asking how to bury information on the Web they don’t want employers to see.
So I went out and polled some internal and external recruiters. They said that the higher the position, the more likely they will dig for information. Some recruiters stated that they will go out and dig if there are some red flags or inconsistencies on the resume or application. Other recruiters said they just don’t have the time to do alot of digging on the Web and need to trust the background check and references.
So my advice to clients is to remember that public information is public to everyone – even prospective employers. If there is public information out there you aren’t proud of consider removing it or disclosing it before they find it. This way you can explain it before an employer uses the information to eliminate you from the candidate pool.
First step – Google yourself and see what’s out there, then device a plan to either remove or manage that information so it doesn’t derail your search.