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Potential Employers Go to Google, Facebook to Dig Up Dirt on You

Where Employers Search For You
We already knew that employers and hiring managers do Web-based during the job-hiring process. There's enough anecdotal evidence out there that you probably didn't need to read Microsoft's study that found 70-percent of U.S. hiring managers rejected applicants based on their online activities. But that tidbit of information is pretty useless unless you know where they're looking (though you should probably not post anything online you wouldn't want someone to see).

More data coming out of Microsoft's research on privacy and online identity management reveals that the number one stop for hiring managers is the good ol' search engine, with 78-percent turning to tools like Google. But if you don't happen to be particularly Googleable, you're not off the hook... yet. About 63-percent of HR personnel also considered social networking presence and 59-percent then moved on to photo and video sharing services like Flickr and YouTube.

This is where things start to get particularly worrisome for those who are careless. Even if you turn up clean here, managers will continue to dig deeper. Personal websites, Twitter, blogs and even 'Second Life' are all on the radar of people making the hiring and firing decisions.

The best solution is to carefully think about anything you do online. This includes seemingly innocuous comments left for friends on their Facebook photos. Microsoft has some other good tips for managing your online identity, including monitoring what others post about you and managing your privacy settings on social networks.

For those who are already careful about how they present themselves, this is vindication that your time spent untagging yourself in photos and deleting comments has not been wasted. For everyone else, maybe stop picking fights on people's walls and posting photos of yourself puking on the sidewalk after a night of heavy drinking. [From: Microsoft, via: Lifehacker]

Tags: employers, employment, job search, jobs, JobSearch, online identity, OnlineIdentity, privacy, privacy settings, PrivacySettings, searchengines, social networking, SocialNetworking, top, web