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Contact: Mark M. Anderson,
President & Chief Economist
203-750-1030, ext. 126

Growing Number Of Job Searches Disrupted By Digital Dirt

www.execunet.com – June 12, 2006 – With the popularity of social networking sites, blogs, and online forums on the rise, recruiters and hiring managers are turning to Internet search engines to gain a more complete picture of job seekers, and more than a third have eliminated a candidate based on the information uncovered.

According to a recent survey of 100 executive recruiters conducted by ExecuNet, the leading executive job search and recruiting network, 77% use search engines to learn more about candidates. Of those who use sites such as Google (GOOG) and Yahoo! (YHOO) to check the background of job seekers, 35% have eliminated a candidate from consideration based on the information uncovered online – up significantly from 26% just one year ago.

"As the amount of personal information available online grows, first impressions are being formed long before the interview process begins," says Dave Opton ExecuNet CEO and Founder. "Given the implications and the shelf life of Internet content, managing your online image is something everyone should address – regardless of whether or not you're in a job search."

One-in-three executives surveyed (33%) believes age becomes a significant factor in a hiring decision at or below the age of 50, 34% say it starts between the ages of 51 and 55, and another one-third (33%) report it becomes an issue after the age of 55.

A separate survey of 136 executives reveals that while the vast majority (82%) expect companies and recruiters to enter their name into a search engine during the course of their next job search, one-in-three (33%) have never actually conducted a search of their own name to determine what information about their personal or professional lives exists online.

"Conducting searches for your own name is something that should been done on a regular basis," says Opton. "Until you're aware of everything that's connected to your name online, it's impossible to try to overcome any potential employer objections."

The survey also found that 16% of executives fear that the information found online when entering their name into a search engine could eliminate them from consideration for a new job, and 13% have taken proactive steps to increase the positive information that appears following an Internet search for their name. To help executives improve the quality of their online image, ExecuNet offers the following guidelines:
  • Use caution. Avoid posting negative comments on blogs, social networking profiles, and online forums. Anything connected to your name online can be viewed as a reflection of your character and integrity.
  • Search yourself. Enter your own name into multiple search engines on a monthly basis to stay informed on what personal and professional information exists online.
  • Be proactive. Seek advice when attempting to counter or explain "digital dirt."
  • Be honest. If the academic qualifications, company information, and titles on your resume don't match with what's found online – potential employers will be quick to move on.

ExecuNet, the leading executive-level job search and recruiting network, provides exclusive access to confidential six figure job listings, expert advice, and high-level business connections for professionals while helping corporate and search firm recruiters find qualified executive candidates. Founded in 1988, ExecuNet helped transform the executive recruiting industry by launching the first website designed to bring together senior-level professionals and search firms.

Based in Norwalk, Connecticut, ExecuNet is a recognized authority in recruiting trends and proprietary employment market research. For more information, visit www.execunet.com

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