Fresh out of a good college, high GPA, sparkling resume, no red flags on the background checks into his criminal, credit, and work histories. Then Westlake-based Research Associates Inc., which helps companies screen potential employees, performed a different kind of background check: examining the candidate’s online reputation.
The investigator found the applicant’s MySpace.com page and, on it, some photos. “It looked like a 32-ounce glass of beer in his hand,” remembered Kevin P. Prendergast, president of Research Associates Inc. “There was commentary on how smashed he got at a recent party and references to the fact that they were smoking marijuana at the party. . . . His eyes were red.”
Research Associates included the MySpace information in its report. “Our client,” added Prendergast, “was very interested in that kind of thing.” The employer, a professional service firm, confronted the job candidate. The pot-smoking grad, his face as red as his eyes in that picture, withdrew his application.
It appears that one’s online reputation is quite important to future employers. And it may be that one’s online activities are more of a true reflection on a person’s character. If nothing else, I will be even more guarded about the things I post on the internet. Not only is my reputation at stake, but so is that of my Lord Jesus Christ whom I am seeking to represent well.
On a slightly different note, I recently found out that more people are paying attention to my other blog than expected. After posting a humorous comment elsewhere about me being the next ambassador for the Saab car company, another man disagreed and referred me back to an unattractive picture I had posted of myself. This was the first time I had ever interacted with this fellow, so I was surprised that he knew anything about me.