Digital Detective Work: Survey Shows Most Employers Search Online for Information About Potential Creative Hires

Posted by Kathleen Smith

A polished resume and portfolio aren’t the only tools professionals need to land their next job. A new survey shows a sterling digital presence is important, too.

Important note: We want to point out that this recent survey was specifically done for the advertising and marketing industry, which is — we realize — not the security cleared community. That said, the trend is clear: employers from all industries and professions are actively going online to learn more about you the job seeker.

In this specific study, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of hiring managers interviewed said they are likely to search for information about prospective hires online. Another 59 percent review job candidates’ LinkedIn profiles and 44 percent check out their Facebook pages.

The national study was developed by The Creative Group and is based on 250 telephone interviews — 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from the nation’s 2,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 with senior marketing executives randomly selected from the nation’s 2,000 largest companies.

Hiring managers were asked, “When evaluating potential hires, are you likely to view the candidate’s … ?

Their responses*:

Results of a web search using the candidate’s name


LinkedIn presence


Facebook presence


Blog postings


Twitter presence


*Multiple responses allowed.

The Creative Group offers these tips to help professionals build their digital reputation:

  1. Create employer-friendly profiles. Make sure the information you post about yourself on sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook showcases not just your personal interests and hobbies, but also your expertise, dedication to your field and ability to communicate effectively.
  2. Optimize your information. Help employers find you online by integrating key words that describe your skills, specialties and positions of interest into your profiles.
  3. Keep certain details under wraps. Use privacy settings effectively so information that you don’t want employers to see won’t show up in a search. Also, avoid publishing anything that could damage your reputation, even to an audience of friends. You don’t want comments made in the heat of the moment to come back to haunt you.
  4. Self-promote. Your ability to post thought-provoking commentary and build a large Twitter or Facebook following can influence an employer’s decision to hire you. Be sure to include URLs to professional profiles when communicating with hiring managers.

Again, while most of the findings from this survey target creative and advertising professionals, the trend information and advice being shared from this survey is very similar to what we have been sharing with security cleared job seekers for the past year. Employers are, indeed, online and they are vetting your credentials and professionalism well before they invite you for an interview.


This entry was posted on Monday, February 22, 2010 6:21 am

One thought on “Digital Detective Work: Survey Shows Most Employers Search Online for Information About Potential Creative Hires”

  1. I like the idea of blogging, but to blog for a job you really have to have something to say that is job appropriate. I know I don't. I have a blog, but it's got much more of a personal slant and I could probably never bring it up during an interview with a Fourtune 500. I usually love this site, but I'd like to respectfully disagree; everyone who wants a job shouldn't blog unless they have something unique to say and they have some degree of passion about the subject. Otherwise, the internet will be bogged down by mediocre blogs from people who are just hoping to get ahead…and there are already enough of those out there.
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