How To Click and Clean Your Online Profiles

Your cyber identity could keep you from a potential job. Find out how to clean up your online profiles with sites like Facebook and MySpace.

By Andy Simmons from Reader's Digest | April 2008

Hiring managers checked out job candidates online and discovered these cyber-skeletons:

31% lied about qualifications.

24% were linked to criminal behavior.

19% bad-mouthed their former company.

19% boasted about drinking and doing drugs.

15% shared confidential information from former employers.

11% posted provocative photographs.

8% used an unprofessional screen name.

Source: CareerBuilder.com

Protect Your Virtual Résumé

• Don’t post anything obnoxious, lewd or risqué, and don’t trash former employers.

• Switch your Facebook or MySpace profile to “private.”

• Edit what friends write on your “wall.” You’ll be held accountable for their idiocy.

• Don’t write anything on someone else’s profile that can come back to haunt you.

• Avoid crazy e-mail addresses. Brad Karsh from JobBound knows of people turned down for jobs because of e-mail addresses like spicychica2, thedirthead and imsotired.

• Google yourself regularly. Better yet, sign up for a Google Alert, which will tell you when your name is mentioned online.

• Think of your profile as your public relations tool. Use it to present your accomplishments and creativity, not to settle scores and attack others.

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