You probably already know that most employers research executive candidates online, and, consequently, executives need to be careful about what they put out about themselves on the Internet.

Now, here is an example of one particular employer taking this to the extreme. reported in 2009 that the City of Bozeman, Montana, was asking applicants for city jobs for their login information for “any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo,, MySpace, etc.”

What on earth? Searching for you online isn’t enough for these people – they apparently want unfettered access to the details of your personal life!

Providing login information to another person is against the terms of service of most of social media sites, so the good news is that this will never be a trend.

This is an extreme case, but the fact that the city officials have the nerve to ask for this is an indication of a climate in which employers feel comfortable using technology to do very thorough background checks on prospective employees.

I would not recommend applying for a job with any organization that asks for your passwords, whether it’s a government agency or not.

And remember: as a job seeker, be careful about how you present yourself online, because there are employers who will research you on the Internet (although most won’t go to these ridiculous lengths!).

Read the CBSNews article

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