At least one in five hiring managers hit the internet and looks at social networking websites to help research possible job candidates.
Online job site CareerBuilder.com completed a survey of 3,169 hiring managers, with 22 percent of them saying they check on Facebook and MySpace when looking into job candidates. Just two years ago, however, only 11 percent of employees looked at social networking sites before making a decision.
More than one-third (34 percent) of hiring managers dismissed possible candidates because of what they found on their profiles. About nine percent who do not look on the web sites plan to beginning do so in the future.
Job employers are becoming increasingly concerned about photos, video and written information of young people and their encounters with alcohol and recreational drugs.
But while what they find on the internet can disqualify candidates, looking on Facebook or MySpace also can help determine if a candidate is qualified for the job.
A general rule of thumb -- which obviously has been easily forgotten -- is that if you have anything you don't want publicly viewed, it should be published in "Friend's Only" mode on social networking sites.