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September 2009
Danger! How to Lose a Job Offer Because of the Internet!
by Susan Reynolds

A fellow recently had a job offer practically in his hands UNTIL his prospective employer discovered old information on an ancient MySpace account that he barely remembered he even had!  It wasn’t that the information was negative or nefarious either.  It all came down to money.  This fellow had inadvertently divulged information about his compensation history in what would have seemed an innocent fashion.  But this tidbit of information scared his prospective employer out of negotiating with him!  The moral of this story?

Be careful.  Manage your online presence judiciously.  Be extremely cautious about sharing ANY information or viewpoints that could be misconstrued.  If you’re in a career change or job search, back track across your online materials and cancel the accounts if necessary.  While it would be time consuming, I know, you can always set up new accounts that specifically fit your professional purpose.  The peril usually lies in having blended business with personal on social media sites.  Some people successfully manage separate sites for their business vs. personal interactions.  It’s probably safest during a job search to maintain only the professional image you would hope a prospective employer would appreciate.

When completing the “information” or “profile” sections of online sites, consider skipping political and religious references, etc., volunteering only information that you would consider fair game for an office topic or interview.  Yes, I understand that this may cramp “editorial” style and freedom of opinion, but prioritize your needs.  What is your greatest concern right now?  If it’s to present your most professional and capable self for marketing, job search, and the workforce, make sure that your Internet self is in agreement!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at or

Other Job and Career Success Related Articles:
Successful Transitional Job Search

The Price for Good People

Social Media Networking for Job Search

Just Don't Get Arrested!

Thanks, but No Thanks???

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