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Vet Yourself Before The Recruiter Does

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Whether you think she's passing or failing; I think we can all agree that Sarah Palin is getting one doozy of a public vetting from press and media. (As it should be. She is running for vice president, after all.)

Always one to note the juxtaposition of events; I can't help but notice that while Palin was squirming in her chair last week about "The Bush Doctrine" and that $%^%$ bridge to nowhere across from Charlie Gibson, CareerBuilder.com was putting out the results of survey of 31,000 employers asking them how they vet their recruits.

One in five said they screen candidates by looking up their profile pages on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.

What's the kiss of death?

- Topping the list, employers and recruiters are looking for evidence of alcohol or drug abuse of any kind.
- TMI: Compromising pictures and/or controversial self-revelations.
- Trash talking former employers and business colleagues.
- Resume discrepancies.
- Signs of criminal activity.

While Palin isn't getting grilled like a moose burger at a Wassilla 4th of July picnic over her Facebook page; it's the hobbies (killing Bullwinkle) and family life (mother - daughter hidden baby bumps), along with previously stated positions of no position on the Iraqi War that are giving her trouble. Nevermind if she has the resume to be Vice President. It's a blend of personal and professional details that will ultimately decide what's she's doing next January.

Real life for the rest of us isn't so different. Gone are the days of being judged by your resume, an interview and a couple of carefully coached past references. Now bosses-to-be want to make sure their next product manager has the good sense not to post their vacation pictures of themself wearing a Speedo at Sandals on Flickr.

Even if you're as tame as a librarian, I recommend conducting a little vetting audit on yourself every three to six months.

Here's some tips to get started:

1. Google yourself and see what crops up at the top. Do it again under "Images".

2. Set your social networking profiles to private and only allow friends and contacts to view them.

3. Designate one profile for professional contacts and another for personal. Be thoughtful who you allow to access both.

4. Even on your personal profile pages, exercise on the side of caution. If your'e old enough to read this blog, chances are you are a grownup with a grownup job. Protect your image and don't take chances of who might share what with whom.

5. Never wear a Speedo when there's a camera present, unless you're Michael Phelps.


Last updated: Sep 15, 2008




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