In his book Trust Agents Chris Brogan writes “Human memory is slowly becoming obsolete.” In other words, in the Internet age there is no room for mistakes. Everything you do online becomes public domain, and you can never make it disappear. It is a place with zero tolerance for momentary lapses of discretion. It is human to make mistakes, but unfortunately the internet is not human. As job hunters in this day and age, you must keep this in mind. Employers check Facebook pages, twitters, group discussion forums, and blog entries.
In a New York Times article on July 20 entitled “Social Media Becomes New Job Hurdle”, it was reported that “… 75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online.”
The good news is you are aware of it. From this point on, you must be careful about compromising comments or pictures you have posted on the internet! A good rule of thumb is, if it’s not appropriate to say or do in the office, don’t say it or do it on the internet. Be aware of the photos and comments being tagged by friends and family, and next time you see the camera out at a party, think if you want to be in that photo. All it takes is a push of the button and the whole world can see.
There are legal issues beginning to surface over companies using the internet for private information on potential employees. It’s uncertain when it will go into effect, and how well it will prevent companies from snooping into your past. So be careful. The internet can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Do you agree or disagree employers should be able to use what is on the internet about you?