A Little Extra Could Get You Fired...

03/07/2012 12:56 BST | Updated 01/09/2012 10:12 BST

If you ever thought of (p)adding your CV to land your dream job; look at what happened to CEO elect of Yahoo Scott Thompson. According to news reports, Thompson allegedly elevated his humble accounting degree into a double degree of accounting and computer science. While the 'scandal' may seem trivial, it does serve to highlight just how important it is that you get your facts straight, especially when everything you do leaves visible online footprints and can be easily found via quick and simple search on the world wide web.

If It's Online, It's Not Private Information

The majority of internet users around the world fail to recognize the simple fact that if they publish anything on the internet it is no longer a private document. If you make a list of your personal information on one of the social or business networking sites, it is in the public domain and is therefore available for anyone to access and to verify. Making sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date is vital if you're in business, and serious about doing business.

Search Yourself

A great way to see what you have published and what other people have written about you is to search for your name on one of the big search engines: Google, Yahoo!, Bing etc you may be surprised at the results that come up in search. That blog that you forgot about; the one that recounts your wild summer in Spain. The forum posting; even your internet radio profile is available for people to view, and, more importantly to form an opinion about you. Every bit of information about you that has been published is available to prospective employers as soon as you give them your name.

Cross Checks...and Balances

If you 'tailor' your CV and resume to suit a certain job that you are applying for, you need to make sure that all of the information on your networks reflects this. Being caught out in a lie is the worst first impression that you can give in business. Not only will you not get the job, you're more than likely to be 'black listed' by HR companies. It's THAT serious. If anyone can cross check your information online, you'd better be sure that what they find - they're going to like.

It's becoming more common than ever before to run a complete search online of a potential candidate. There have been a number of legal cases in the USA where potential employees have been asked for their Facebook passwords as a part of their job interview. It may be against Facebook's privacy policy, and indeed it may be an invasion of your personal privacy, but as of the present moment, it is not against the law. Some employers feel that you may be 'hiding something' if you're profile is set to private and they are unable to see your Facebook page. In the current economic climate, do you really want to risk losing a potential job by not having an appropriate 'online face'?

Far too many people still think of the internet as a veil which they can hide behind and maintain an online persona that is private; the truth is somewhat more disturbing: The internet is a reflection of exactly who you are and if you're looking to impress, you'd better make sure that your reflection is a true and fair depiction of exactly who you are.