Social suicide: Don't let the Web kill your professional reputation

In today's job market, online reputation management is a must.
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Dec 01, 2010


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You've probably heard stories about professionals who've lost job opportunities because of something they've posted online. (Click here to peek at how many team members have had a post come back to bite them.) New research reveals that everyone—including veterinary team members seeking new employment—is much more at risk than you may have thought.

Specifically, 70 percent of recruiters have rejected a candidate for employment simply based on text, photos, or videos they discovered about that person online, according to a Cross-Tab survey of more than 1,100 human relations professionals. The rejections often go beyond the typical "regrettable picture from a college kegger party" variety. For example, Brenda Tassava, CVPM, hospital administrator at Broad Ripple Animal Clinic in Indianapolis, says she recently passed on an applicant after discovering that job seeker was gainfully employed rather than unemployed as she had represented.

"A Google search showed that she had just been welcomed as a new associate veterinarian at another practice a few weeks earlier," says Tassava, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member. "This disqualified her, as she was dishonest on both her application and in her telephone interview."

Even more of a head-scratcher: There are still people who are getting bypassed for jobs simply for posting images of drug and alcohol use. Stacy Pursell, founder and president of the VET Recruiter has seen this firsthand. "One of our clients recently passed on a candidate after he saw her MySpace page," Pursell says. "She had a good resume, our client liked her in the phone interview and was going to invite her in for a face-to-face interview. But after he saw her MySpace page he decided to pass and move on to other candidates. Be cautious about what you post online. It's a good idea to change the privacy settings so the entire world can't see what you did last weekend."(Click here to see who's beefing up security.)