London, February 4 : Beware! Your cool Facebook profile might be obstructing your recruitment into a reputed concern.
Recruiters often visit social networking websites to peruse candidates' suitability, according to international consultancy 'Badenoch and Clark'.
The agency, that places thousands of professional staff in jobs every year, has discovered that about 62 per cent of British executives check Facebook, MySpace or another social networking site to determine the suitability of candidates.
Another survey by the networking site Viadeo reveals that one in five employers use social networking sites to search for information on candidates, and to look at how they project themselves.
Almost two thirds of the employers surveyed said that information found on such websites influenced their recruitment decisions heavily, while a quarter said that they had changed their mind and decided not to hire someone because of what was online.
Andy Powell, a director at Badenoch and Clark, warned that the internet was a public place and prospective employers were only a few clicks away.
"First it was just a Google search, but more and more employers are looking at Facebook and MySpace. There are 10 million British people on MySpace so it's inevitable that there is a drift towards looking at these sites," Time Online quoted him as saying. "Most people have many elements to their online presence, but they don't all necessarily show us in the best light. More employers are taking note of 'net reputation' so it is right to be a bit careful," he added.
Powell, however, admits that it would just not be okay if people stopped using social networking sites for fear of damaging their prospects.
"At its best, a good profile page can show a broad network of friends and interests, creativity and good internet skills," he said.
The online report also suggests that not all companies are delving into the sites, and that some think that the existing checks they follow are sufficient.