Beware of Digital Dirt

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With recruiters, hiring executives, and selection committees using the Internet to research candidates in ever increasing numbers, executives are beginning to see the impact – and the results can sometimes be distressing. ExecuNet recently revealed a disturbing statistic in their Insider Newsletter. In that newsletter, they stated that a recent survey of recruiters revealed that 75% of respondents use search engines to uncover information about candidates. The disturbing part is that 26% indicated that information on the Internet has caused them to eliminate a candidate from consideration!

Reasons cited by recruiters for dropping candidates were diverse. They include inaccurate academic qualifications on their executive resume, omission of facts regarding publicly available information on an ethics investigation, strange personal habits, misrepresentation of job titles or company information, suspended driver’s or professional licenses, and litigation against former employers.

So while you want to work to ensure that there is plenty of positive information about you out there in cyberspace, it is also important to monitor what is out there and its possible negative effect on your candidacy for a position, as well as your overall reputation in the employment marketplace.

I highly recommend that my executive clients do a little detective work and Google themselves to see what is being said about them. If you do find something potentially negative, do what you can to counteract it by commenting on blogs that contain the information, covering it honestly but as favorably as possible in your own blog and/or web portfolio, and taking care to disclose to the recruiter anything that you ascertain can and will easily be revealed about you in an Internet search. It goes without saying that you will also want to correct any inaccurate information on your executive resume.