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Annie Hayes

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Canny candidates tailor digital footprint

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Job seekers can stage-manage a next career move by grooming their social networking profiles.

An online recruiting outfit has bucked a growing trend that claims e-networking is social suicide. ClickAJob says that a well-kept online profile can even help candidates secure their next position.

ClickAJob’s chief executive Yngve Traberg said: “With care and attention, a good online presence is a unique opportunity to stage-manage your career – a dynamic showcase for advancing yourself.”

Traberg added that top companies, including Ernst & Young and others from the big four consultancies, are already recruiting through Facebook, LinkedIn and Second Life.

“Even security-obsessed organisations like the CIA are doing it. In Europe, it is already common practice to keep your CV online permanently; a way for employers to monitor your progress and maintain an accurate shortlist against any sudden or unforeseen need.”

The news is at odds with a recent warning by David Smith, deputy commissioner for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Smith recently noted that information about a candidate found on the web by employers could jeopardise chances of being accepted.

According to ICO research, 60 per cent of 14 to 21 year olds are unaware that information online such as blogs can be accessed in the future.

“The cost to a person’s future can be very high if something undesirable is found by the increasing number of educational institutions and employers using the internet as a tool to vet potential students or employees,” Smith said.

A further 70 per cent of those surveyed admitted they would not want an employer to look at their profile page on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or Bebo.

The ICO warning echos findings reported by HR Zone from a CV screening firm advising career hungry employees that e-networking is career suicide.

But according to Traberg, opportunities do exist to turn social networking into an asset. “Everyone has the choice,” he said. “Like everyday life, it’s up to the individual to present themselves positively.”

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Annie Hayes

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