The New York Times (10/10, BU8, Korkki) “The Search” column reports, “Be aware that background checks can make or break a job application. And in a data-rich world, the person with the fewest red flags may get the job.” While there is little concrete data “on how hiring managers use the Internet to vet applicants,” the column advises job seekers “assume that they are at least looking you up on search engines. So it’s wise to review the results of a quick search of your name.” And, while “it is very hard to remove anything questionable about yourself from a search engine,” experts say “you can at least push it lower by adding positive entries.” Among other strategies for managing an online presence, they advise job seekers: “If you are showing or saying anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see, ‘take it down, now.'”
Online reputation research
Microsoft commissioned research in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States to find out how people manage the information they and others place on the Internet. The same research also studied how hiring managers and recruiters use this information to investigate job applicants and to what extent the data they find has a bearing on their hiring decisions.
Of participants surveyed, the percentage of hiring managers rejecting candidates based on their online profile information is higher in the United States than in the United Kingdom, Germany, or France.