To all my executive resume writing clients: The problem of digital dirt (unfavorable information about you on the Internet) is not something to be ignored if you want to ensure the long-term health of your career.
You may want to check out this site where you can verify your online reputation and also clean it up: www.reputationdefender.com. The site points out that according to a study conducted by Purdue University counselors, one third of employers screen job candidates using Google, MSN, and Yahoo, and 11.5% search social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Xanga. It was recently mentioned favorably on Good Morning America as a provider that helps people to clean up their digital dirt to help ensure no negative effects are exerted on their “hireability.”
Since the majority of companies and recruiters do “Google” prospective candidates’ names, proactive action to ensure what they find is not damaging is only prudent. If you do not wish to use a paid service such as the one mentioned here, I strongly encourage you to search on your own and remove any items you have placed on the Web yourself that you would not want a potential employer to read (entries on a personal blog, for example). You’ll also want to contact sites that may have inaccurate or unflattering information about you and request that it be removed or modified.