The last time you looked for a new position, you may have included "references available upon request" on your resume to let the prospective employer know that others could prove the credibility of your candidacy and vouch for your performance. But if the last time you actively sought out a new position was before the Internet, you may want to rethink your references available upon request strategy. In the 21st century, references are often available without request. According to a 2006 survey by Execunet, 77 percent of recruiters have used Internet search engines to research candidates and 35 percent of them have dropped seekers from consideration based on the information they uncovered, up from 26% who did so in 2005.
In their recently released book, Career Distinction, William Arruda and Kirsten Dixon explore the importance of having a professional brand and building an on-line identity and they even help professionals evaluate their Google results to determine if they are "digitally disguised", "digitally distinct", or somewhere in between.
Don't assume that employers are only looking at the information you have handed to them or that they are only reviewing information on their final candidates. Finding details on job seekers, once a laborious process, has been streamlined into a few quick clicks. So make sure that all of your "references available without request" support your candidacy and build upon your professional brand.
Posted by Barbara Safani