Control Your Online Profile

I've written on a few occasions the importance of controlling your online profile. That is, it's worth the effort of first, checking what is out on the web tied to your name and second, taking control of it. And now a New York Times article is covering the same topic.

The article (login required) relates the story of college students that are passed over for interviews because of pieces of writing that came across as immature and unprofessional. Even though these piece may have merit as artistic expression, they are enough for hiring managers to simply move on. Could such attitudes cost a company a good employee? Possibly. Was it fair to judge someone by their online presence? Sure. What else is there to go on?

The trend of hiring managers looking to form an impression of candidates via web searches is growing. At New York University, 30 companies told career counselors that they were looking at sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Xanga. They have clearly taken the next from the often talked about approach of just using Google. These same companies used the term “red flag” to describe what they're looking for. That is, they're looking for indications of why NOT to hire someone. Need any more reason than that to “clean” up your name?

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