If you’re in the job market, you probably already know that some employers research job candidates online. As a result, job seekers need to be careful about what they put out about themselves on the Internet (read my article about this here).
Now, here is an example of one particular employer taking this to the extreme. CBSNews.com reported in June 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, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.”
What the heck?! Searching for you online isn’t enough for these people – they apparently want unfettered access to the details of your personal life! Yikes.
This is an extreme case, but the fact that the city officials have the nerve to ask for this is an indication of the current 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. Still, this is a reminder that in this day and age, job seekers need to be careful about how they present themselves online, because there are employers who will research them on the Internet.