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I was just reading this article on Yahoo:

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/yoon/1123

It is about how employers now scene out potential canditates for a job if they don’t like what they see when they do a search on you. So, if you are on social networking sites like facebook and myspace and they don’t like your content on there – they won’t call you for an interview. Since I am applying for tech jobs now, I am worried about this.

The internet is biting us back in the butt! I remember when it used to be a good thing to have a web presence. One of my tech friends once told me that you WANT your name to come up on internet searches.

Now, I am trying to remove my name for things – I even tried to remove my name on my profile page on here but bummer it is not working right now. (Please fix soon! I want to remove my name so it doesn’t show up in google!)

Not that I have anything too discriminating about me on here or anywhere else for that matter but I wonder if they would actually go and read my posts and think “This is a crazy girl” (ie they are not familiar with the raw lifestyle etc, they think it is weird so no interview call for me).

Although there is some other girl out there with the same name as me on the social networking sites like facebook and myspace (I am not on those) – I hope she wouldn’t be confused with me because she is way youger than me and my resume wouldn’t match up. but…now I am a bit worried about it. How can they know that is not you? Lots of people have same names.

I mean, isn’t this sort of illegal? For an employer to screen you out because of your social life? For example, what if you were gay and you were on a gay site that was very vanilla (nothing weird or anything) just a forum or something but the employer was anti-gay and thereby, decided not to call you for interview after they learned that about you even before meeting you? Even though you are qualified for the job and thereby are worthy of an interview? That is discrimination isn’t it?

I guess employers can do what they want in todays world because nowadays it is definately an employers market and they can be as picky as they want. But is it just me or is this just wrong???

My advice is that every use false names now!

Comments

  • iknikn

    Yes queenfluff, this is real. I know my company does a search on the web for all applicants. And my boss is very strict about it too. If he doesn’t like your facebook page, then no chance for an interview.

  • Well business’s need to protect their interests. And in applications for jobs and interviews someone can “fake” being the candidate they are looking for, but in real life, especially in high profile companies, can be a liability to the company. Is it illegal? No. Is it wrong? Perhaps, depending on who you are, the interviewer or the interviewee.

    I have like 5 different email address for everything I do and only use one each for different things. Ive googled my name and cant find it anywhere, except an animal rights letter i wrote to the paper 5 years ago. No myspace, no facebook. Tyring to live off the internet grid ;)

  • thanks for the responses guys!

    I still think it is wrong and discriminatory. Not wrong for employers to search for you on the net but if they decide not to call you in for an interview because your social life doesn’t agree with them. Like I was saying before, what if they found out you are gay or something and discriminate you based on that? I think that is illegal to do. I think it is similar to not hiring someone like if they have a disability or something.

    I guess the internet is not our friend anymore. :(

  • queenfluff~ The interesting thing about this situation with the internet… YOU have the opportunity to research the company and who is interviewing YOU and who you would be working with… You might choose not to apply or accept a position if offered due to something you saw on the internet. Or you might address an issue you found on the internet prior or at the interview. Finding objectionable things works both ways.

    Personally, I have a different POV… I think the employer has the right to do research on people. Companies spend a lot of money to hire and train someone. If you do have some questionable stuff on the internet or any other aspect of your background (they also might run a credit check), address it at the interview. Simply ask what is their procedure to decide who is selected for the next step (ask what the step is also, straight to hire? another interview? etc.) Also, do you by chance have a different middle initial than the “younger” queenfluff? If so, start including your middle initial/name. This will distinguish you.

    It sounds like you might feel very powerless with the job searching process (I know this is one of my issues)... If so, strengthening this area will do more for you then becoming invisible on the net.

    Hope this is useful…

    Sending you much success and that success comes swiftly. :)

  • Wow this is insane!! But I am not at all surprised…that is why I keep my FB profile private, I even have a diff last name:)

  • Hah, that’s why I use the Kevlar alias for everything. My real name doesn’t exist on the net, except for email, ebay, etc..

  • Meh, let them check, ive got nothing to hide, i dont speak what i dont want heard, and i wouldnt apply for a job that doesnt like who i am. We have been spied on for years one way or another and always will be, just make sure youre pulling a moonie when the zoom their satellites in on you :)

  • I do not blame employers for wanting to do the searches – I mean, of course you want to screen out ax murders and such. I am OK with them searching – what worries me is that you will be discriminated against for certain personal things that might make you different or stand out from the crowd – things that should not matter if you are excellent at your job.

    I am sure most of us on here – being into the raw lifestyle – can attest to the “grilling” that some of us go through at our jobs etc because we live life different than the mainstream.

    I know we have been being spied on for years probably – I am just hoping decisions are not made based on the interviewers personal tastes – things like religion or sexual orientation or ethnicity. Now if you have your picture up online anywhere or belong to any group – you are at put yourself at danger of not being able to get anywhere in the world.

    bluedolphin – Well, of course who isn’t feeling powerless in todays job market. It is ridiculous. No one has any power right now – except the employers which is why thinking that you would get screened out – even for something non-job related – even before they meet you really irks me. It makes you feel even more powerless than before the net was around. I think they need your SSN to run a credit check right?

    Have no idea about the other “queenfluff” (not that but my real name of course) but I might just include my middle initial on my resume from now on. But as soon as I can remove my name from the net – I will feel better.

    Now, if they would only fix the update profile thing on here that would be great.

  • However: This can work in your favour, where I work we had a candidate come for interview, at interview he out performed the other candidate, but, we looked up his online profile and found out he was increadably sexist and said that he enjoyed trying to trick people into making rasist comments so that he could take issue with them. He was obviously an extremly nasty “devils advocate” type of the worst sort. when we showed his profile to the boss, he didn’t get the job. phew, he would have been hell to work with.

  • springleaf- that locks in queenfluffs fears. and how do you know that profile you turned in on him was true? Not everything on the intranet is true. and people can be different online than they are in “actual life” what they may say about themselves doesnt always reflect who they are in a work enviroment. He may have been the most pleasant person to work withbut was not given the chance.. Besides that someone that doesnt like him could have made that site up, my daughter created my myspace, someone could create one on you without your knowledge, they do with celebrities all the time. Could also be why he chooses to live “another life” online because no one gives him his chance to show what he is all about. the internet is a convient place to vent your frustrations without attacking anyone on a more personal level and leaving hurt feeling. I personally cring everytime I hear something “christian” but I can say that on here but at work I must be cheerful and respectful of everyone and cant say what I am thinking and feeling.

    Btw queenfluff If you want to move to Illinois my job is up for grabs I just put in my notice and my last day is oct 17th. But you do seem to be overqualified for it. but then hey the morons I am leaving behind need someone smart!!!

    and what is it with this OVERQUALIFED bull crap? Oh you are too smart so you have to remain unemployed and live in a box under a bridge. I have heard that also and it is just stupied. I had to wait a long time depending on others to support me because of this. But I did get my last two jobs and I was under qualifed for both of them. this is insane.

  • blue_eyes belive me, we thought long and hard about showing this to his potential boss, we did lots of searches on him (he was quite a prolific internet writer – had his own website) we know it was him not someone else with the same name cus he had photos up (lots of them not just one or two that you could copy and paste) and we had met him in real life also. Plus the reason he got searched in the first place is that although he was the most qualified in interview, he was unpolite to the girl he would have been working with, which gave us the heads up to do the searches. Also belive me, there is a difference between someone who has a wacky “online personality” and someone who is clearly a little twisted. I would suggest he was like the troll person we had problems on here with a few weeks ago.

  • I would say that any reputable company probably does searches mid-stream (not before they have called you for an interview) and they would then be upfront about it. And if a company will rule you out based on something discriminitory, do you really want to work for them? I know i wouldn’t…. I screen clients before agreeing to work with them, it’s just common business practice these days! It is a good rule of thumb to not put anything out for public display that you don’t want read or known about! I certainly have things I wouldn’t be public about, which is why I keep them private!

  • queenfluff~ You might check with an employment agency, nearby school for classes, or someone working in the employment industry for coaching in being empowered in a rough employment environment. There is a mindset that is involved. It is rough out there on many levels and in many areas.

    Yes, they need your SSN (definitely) and, I think, a driver’s license to run a credit check.

    I think we have at least one person that is active on the site that is a human resource person who might shed more light on the whole hiring subject and can give some great assistance…

    You might do a search on your real name and include your middle initial to see what that brings up. If it continues to bring up the other “queenfluff”, then, as I menttioned, you might have to address the issue with potential employers that might be doing a search. It won’t be something they haven’t had to deal with before since so much info is so accessible now.

    I agree with nothinkingbehind. If something like you being raw/vegan (or anything else for that matter) turns off a potential employer, sounds like they might be a hostile environment for you. Truthfully, would you really want to work under such conditions? If an employer is hostile towards raw/vegan, I would wonder what else the environment would include? Gender issues? Religion issues? Taking advantage of employees in an illegal or unethical way? Harassment of some sort? Hm? If a potential employer is truly inquisitive about an issue they found out about you, that’s a good sign they promote an open environment and most likely their business is expanding. And on your side, being open to their questions is important also. If you walk in baited for bear and is hostile about being asked about somethings, are you the ideal employee for them? Are you open? Are you flexible?

    I know that you might be feeling a bit desperate right now and stuff like that is upsetting. Looking for a win-win environment is rewarding in the long run and frustrating in the short term at the same time. What would Louise Hay say/do? My best to you that you quickly find a great fit.

    Blue_Eyes~ Your invite to apply for your job is sooooooo inviting (tongue-in-cheek). NOT! lol

  • blueeyes – Ha ha! You made my day! I would love to take your job but I just moved from Illinois so yeah, I am not wanting to go back there (not that I hated Chicago mind you, I grew up there, just the weather – I waited a long time to get out to Cali so I am not going back with out a fight :) ) I do miss my home town sometimes though – I was having a craving for some cooked food from one of my fave restaurants and I was mad they don’t have anything like it here. :)

    Yeah, what is it about being overqualified – it is reallly a hard thing to grasp. I can understand that they want to leave opportunity for perfectly qualified canditates to get the job but now if you are one years over (or off) on the experience side – you get skipped over. I guess they can afford to do that today. I apply for jobs I am perfectly qualified for – I mean I have everything on the list to a T and I still get no call for an interview. It is quite frustrating because you wonder: “What did I do wrong?” “Did my resume even make it there?” “Are they even reading any of the resumes?” And not to toot my own horn but I have been told I interview very well and I am a good writer so my resume and cover letter are very acceptable. I seem to be a years off in experience for most of the jobs I would like to apply for but in todays market I know not to even waste my time to apply because it is very selective right now.

    The funny thing is that the under/overqualified thing is that a friend of mine started a new job (new career too) and at two years at the company she was better and knew more than people who had been there 10 years – she was practically carrying them as they were always behind and never got anything right. Seems odd doesn’t it – some people will just coast by for years and someone who seems apparently underqualified can out perform the overqualfied ones. So yeah, those two concepts – in my experience, don’t always hold which is why I think it is unfair to screen someone out based on them being a little bit over or off on the experience level.

    I do agree with springleaf about that guy referred too – but at least they made up their minds after they met him and everything. If the guy was just iffy when he came in to interview that can just mess it up for them too. Even being a minute late for an interview will take you out of the running – even though there may not be anything else wrong with you.

    nothinkingbehind/bluedolphin – Of course I would not want to work for a place that sent resumes to the discard pile based on things like gender and religion and ethnicity but there is no way I will ever know how they are discarding people until I actually get an interview there unfortunatley. It just irks me because I thought it was illegal to do this – of course you can’t ever prove they did it for that reason. (I guess I might be a bit spoiled on this because the last company I worked for was excellent at diviersity – all kinds of people and everyone was so talented too – you can tell they hired people for their job experitise and not other reasons)

    My bf and I were discussing this yesterday and he said that certain well-known tech companies (which shall remain nameless) will hire certain ethnicities over others (despite experience and skills) on purpose because the founder of the company is a certain ethnicity and wants to keep it a certain way. Ugh. I guess I thought the world had changed in that aspect but I guess I was wrong.

  • If your really worried, just email Kandace or Ray and tell them to get rid of your name on your profile. Wow, though, queenfluff, I didn’t know this was going on. I’m glad my mom never visits online chat rooms – that would be scary, but she does a private practice so that doesn’t really matter I guess.

    That’s really crazy, though, I mean, the world is so crazy. I’ve always been leery of the internet (except this place of course!).

  • I have to say I think it’s very rare for a company these days to discard someone based on disriminatory issues. I am in HR and I think most companies fall in line with the regulations for hiring. There might be some that don’t, but then you really don’t want to work there. Also, keep in mind that there is a difference between a company that moves on to other candidates because they are discriminating, and a company that feels that you aren’t a good fit. Our screening and hiring process is really stringent for a reason. Our people stay for the long haul because we make sure they are a fit before we hire them. Now, that isn’t practical for some industries, but for many they are relying on several factors. In order to get considered, you REALLY have to cover all of your bases. Again, I don’t think reputable employers are using the internet as a resource to discriminate. I think they are using it to determine who they are really looking at. You mention that employers should hire people for their expertise, but in many companies, knowledge is just not enough. They have a culture that is fostered, and if you don’t fit that culture, it might not be the right place for you.

    On a positive note, I’m glad to take a look at your resume if you’d like. I know you don’t know me, but I have 10 years of experience and also own my own business, and I’d be glad to offer my advice.

    Good luck, it really is a tough market!

  • On a reversed note:

    A couple years ago I had an interview with a woman for a job..she seemed very eager to hire me, but I wasn’t so sure about her as my potential boss. I looked her up on myspace and she was NOT someone I wanted to be working for..apparently I picked up on it during my interview or else I wouldn’t have looked her up. I thought that was funny.

    My current boss is even guilty of discriminating..not over the internet though. She’s not that savvy. But there was a REALLY NICE woman who came and interviewed, she had the experience…my boss had me check her references and people talked about how great she was to work with. My boss said she didn’t have enough “experience” but the woman was severely overweight. Being an at-desk job…I don’t/didn’t really see the problem. Even though my boss wasn’t admitting it, I knew she didn’t hire that woman because of her weight. :(

  • As a side note, I have a big problem with employers checking credit. My financial history has NOTHING to do with how well I can do a job. I see absolutely no reason why a credit score should affect a candidate’s potential chances at a job. I have crappy credit…because I was once 20 years old and in college, coming from a poor family with no money and no financial backing. I screwed up my credit. But how I’ve spent the money I earned in the past has absolutely no relevancy as to how well I do what I do to EARN money.

    Oh and i just googled myself…first page there’s an article about a girl who’s about the same weight and age as me with exact same name (and I have a weird last name) who kidnapped a kid! GREEEEEAT! :facepalm:

  • Megan, you are right, it works both ways! It’s too bad that your boss isn’t focused on the good of her company rather than assumptions about a person by appearances. It does happen, unfortunately.

    Branwyn, I don’t think companies check credit for those reasons. They check credit to verify you are who you are and depending on what kind of position you are applying for, your credit standing can be an indicator for them. Also, checking credit is a less expensive way for potential employers to weed out issues. For instance, if someone has a long history of poor credit, it goes to their character. And I’m not talking about circumstances, those can always be explained. I’m talking about a pattern of funds mismanagement for extended periods of time. So it’s one of those things that can raise a red flag for anyone that might be applying for a C level position.

    That said, even when employers say they have the right to check your credit, they rarely do. Apply for a position as a CFO, you better believe your credit will be checked. It just makes sense.

  • I can see the good reasons you are all saying but I also know a lot of people or very against hiring people who are “strange” to them. and yes I have seen people passed over because they are over weight or just not cutzie enough for that department.

    I dont like being left out because of having a different hobby or belief and yes it is illegal to discrimate agains such things as beliefs and race and all but they will always have some lame excuse why they did not hire someone.

  • I did have a job once that I had applied too (really cool one working with gorillas) but because of the location it would have been possible for me at the time to even get to the job but I could have gotten an interview (I did get a call back) and gotten hired since I was very qualified for it. But after the fact I looked up stuff about the place online and saw some disturbing stories about the person who ran the place. I felt bad because it looked like a great job but yeah, the whole thing worked out for the best. I think I might have thought twice about working there if I had been offered a job – or at least, definatley been on alert. :) I normally ignore as much as I can any weirdos I end up working with – definately don’t make friends with them – it just makes your life more difficult. :)

    Branwyn32 – He he! Isn’t that weird? I mean my last name is not very common either but I was surprised to learn that there are several other girls with the exact same name. Not all have a internet presense like that one but that one. I remember too that one lived pretty close to where I used to live and was only a few years older. Different middle initital – can’t help but wonder what she looks like?

    I am opposite of you – I have great credit. If that was all there was to getting a job, I would beat all the other applicants to the ground.:) Not that I don’t debt – I just have a good payment history. :) But yeah, I don’t think that should be used against you – I didn’t think that was a factor but maybe now it is. The company could do a background check on you with no credit check – this is to check like if you have a criminal record etc. I thought credit checks were just for like applying for loans and getting apartments. Hmm…

    nothinkingbehind – Thanks! I think my resume is pretty good. I had a tech friend of mine look over it. (it is for IT so lots of techie stuff on there). How does HR really decide if someone is a “good fit” if they haven’t met them yet – going beyond the fact that they are qualified for the job? I could understand after they have been interviewed and everything but before?? I can understand how employers probably get hundreds of resumes online now and try to cut the pile down as much as possible because they must be up to their ears – but it still bewilders me how a person who is qualified to a T can be completely looked over.

    For example, I am about to apply for a job that I am PERFECTLY qualified for except am shy short on the experince (well, at least professionally not in total). I have the specialization they want (which is NOT common). I am so hopeing they don’t toss me aside when they don’t see the exact number of years they want on there. Here is a brilliant article which demonstrates my point that I made in my other post about how years of experience is a dumb rule for employers to follow anymore:

    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/00105…

    It is a tech article about developers but I could see how it could apply to lots of jobs. Some people could have 10 years experience and be crap and never get it and someone else could have only five years and be the best employee in the company – way better than that person who has the 10 years. I am the later employee – I consider myself to be at the higher years level in skills and experience but in “technical” years I don’t have it

    But it is really tired that some employers use that “years experience” rule just to cut down on the amount of resumes they get – an HR person once told me that is why they do it for the most part. Do you find that to be true? It isn’t really that they definatley want a person with that many years experience but they are too lazy to look through any other resumes that might not meet their “requirements” but could be the person they need.

  • queenfluff… I sure see your point, and I think it’s really valid. There are a lot fo companies that don’t bother to put much effort into finding new talent for their open positions. So you could have lots of experience or qualifications in many areas but get looked over. There are some obvious things that can disqualify you from getting a phone call, although from your posts they probably don’t pertain to you. Things like typos in your resume will kill your chances. Sometimes it’s things in your cover letter, or what’s not in your cover letter. For instance, if you are applying for a position in a particular industry, you cover letter should indicate something about that industry. I know for many techie jobs like you are talking about… resumes aren’t looked at. They are first screened by a machine that is looking for key words. If you have a significant number of their key words, they then look at your resume. It’s not because companies are too lazy, but the volume is amazing on each and every job posted. However, there are lots of industries and companies that take their hiring process very seriously and don’t overlook anyone or anything. Also, you can be dead in the water if you get a phone call and don’t know how to respond to the person at the other end of the phone. It doesn’t matter who you are talking to, be professional. 9 times out of 10, an employer is looking for someone who has taken the time to seriously apply. When I call a potential candidate and they have no idea who I am or what company they have applied to, it sends me the message that they really weren’t interested. “I really don’t know anything about you, I’ve applied to so many positions”. It’s wiser to let your phone go to voicemail, get the message, look up the company, and then call back. Regardless of wwether you REALLY wanted to apply with them or not, they should think that you hand-picked them. Again it depends on the company you are applying for, but the good ones want some “wow” in your resume. They want a cover letter that sounds like you will give 100%, and it has to sound genuine. And as far as exerience, the ad might give 10 things they are looking for, but they will look at you with 5. I don’t envy you as the tech business is very hard right now. I don’t know what the market is like specifically in your area, but you might need to take lots of extra steps to get there. Things like following up with a phone call or presenting your resume first online and then in person. All of those things can have a significant effect on them “seeing” who you really are.

    Sorry to be so long-winded, but I hope it’s helpful!

  • My friends son wants to be a truck driver but he cant get his CDL lience due to some kid several states over that has the same name (first name spelled different)around the same age has a ticket and even tho the name is spelled different AND the two have different SSN they are making him send all kinds of stuff to prove who he really is. Still does not have it.

  • nothinkingbehind -

    Wow! Thanks for the wonderful reply! I really appreciate it. I am in Silicon Valley – the technic capitol of the world – so yeah, it is super tough. Even Google is starting to lay off here so when that happens you know the IT industry is headed for a recession.

    I always let my phone go to voicemail when I don’t recognize the number so if places call me I have time to think about what I will say. I don’t apply to every job out there so I can pretty much remember what is what. I know what you mean though – some people will apply to anything. I try to apply to stuff that I think I would definately have a chance of getting an interview at.

    I always personalize my cover letters the best I can -even though it can be time consuming. That last job I applied for (the one I am perfectly qualified for) had a pretty long online application process. It was one of those things where you upload your resume but then still ask you fill out all your jobs and education etc. So, I could see how that alone would screen out the “unserious” types. Not me – I will go through the trouble if I think I have a chance at the job. This is a pretty big company so hopefully that long online application process means they take it seriously.

    Alos, it is the same industry I worked in before which I elaborated on in my cover letter and it is pretty specialized and detailed so hopefully they will notice that. I honestly don’t see how I could be more perfect for this job – I am thinking what are the chances that someone else will be the exactly the same? I hope none. The only other thing that might boot me out of the running is that I am not in the same city as the job – although I stated I am planning to relocate to that city – I know sometimes company don’t want to deal with someone having to move for the job.

    I think it might take a while until I get a call though – it said on their site that the application deadline is end of October – does that generally mean they won’t be calling any one until after that for interviews?

    blueeyes – Eww! That is horrible. Sometimes you wonder about how technology has improved our lives but in other ways it is making it even more difficult. That is crazy! You would think the SSN would be OK or his license number – to prove he doesn’t have any tickets and that that isn’t him.

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