Job seekers may be beseiged by their online past

Norwalk (CT) - Recruiting and hiring managers are increasingly eliminating job candidates because of negative online information found on social networking sites, blogs and forums. ExecuNet, a job search and recruiting company, polled 100 executive recruiters and found that more than a third of recruiters have eliminated a candidate based on dirt they dug up online.

According to ExecuNet's data, 77% of the recruiters used search engines to find out more information about the candidates, while 35% eliminated a candidate based on online information. You should be aware of what information you put online, as Dave Opton, ExecuNet's CEO and founder, explained: "First impressions are being formed long before the interview process begins," adding that everyone should manage his or her own online image.

In a separate but related study, ExecuNet surveyed executives who were looking for jobs, and found that 82% expected their names to be entered into a search engine. 16% feared that online information could disqualify them from getting the job.

ExecuNet recommends that job seekers avoid posting negative comments on blogs, forums and social networking sites. Job seekers should also search themselves using multiple search engines, on a monthly basis to find out what online dirt has been written about them.