In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the chief executive of the technology giant said:
“I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time.”
But any attempt to wipe out an online trail would likely raise more doubts than it covered up. As I argued on Sky News, in theory, changing your name could work, but it would also open you up to a huge gap in your career history, in much the same way as leaving a gap on your CV would – and that’s something that will always be investigated further at interview.
The question for candidates would be: ‘What kind of information are you hiding?’ If it’s simply pictures of you drunk on a night out, that’s information that recruiters would not typically factor into a hiring decision – they certainly shouldn’t be. If, however, you are trying to cover up behaviour that would reasonably jeopardise your chances of getting the job, that will likely come out in the interview process, so there’s going to be little benefit as a candidate in doing that.
As things are, employers are so inundated with applications for entry-level roles that it is unreasonable (and uncommercial) to expect that they have the time or resources to consider candidates’ application forms and then do their own research on social networking sites. Employers go to a lot of trouble to ensure that their application processes are fair and that they ask for all of the relevant information.
However, individual managers and recruiters do rule candidates out based on information that isn’t directly relevant to the hiring decision. Secrets of Personal Branding Online is designed to make sure that doesn’t happen to you and to show you how to make your online profile work for, not against you.