Career builder logoA word of caution for those hunting for a job: make sure that your online profile is “clean” because employers are using information that they find online to help them determine who they should hire. Not only are they using search engines like Google, they’re also checking social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Would any of you be embarrassed by what employers found on your social network profile whether it be pictures, or other content?

This information came from a study done by who surveyed over 1,100 different hiring managers. What they found was that 26 percent used search engines, and 12 percent admitted to using social network sites to check-up on potential employees. While those numbers aren’t that large, I think we can assume that the percentage of hiring managers who use online information will only continue to grow.

Also interesting is that the information these managers found  is actually used to make a decision on whether to hire or not.  While only 12 percent said they used social network sites, according to Reuters, “63% declined to hire an applicant based on what they found, citing lying about qualifications and criminal behavior as two of the top disqualifiers.”

So remember, not only are your friends looking at the pictures from last weekends party, your future employer may be too! If you don’t want your profile seen by anybody other than your friends, make sure you set your profile on social networks to private. It’s also not a bad idea to go to a search engine and search for your name to see what comes up. If the way you appear online is not one that could land you a job, it’s time to do some work to change that!