It has emerged that getting selected for that dream job has just got tougher, as companies are now scouring Facebook and Twitter accounts to know an applicant's personal details before hiring.
As Internet search technology grows more sophisticated, surviving a background check is going to get even harder. Employers are now scanning social networking sites like they never did before.
AdvertisementExplicit posts suggesting a person likes racist joke, is fond of too much booze or is a bit too fond of guns, could become grounds for an employer to reject a job applicant.
The Federal Trade Commission has given its approval for Social Intelligence Corp. to sell these reports to employers and the file will last for seven long years.
"You can be deemed a bad apple by association. Are all your friends gay, rich, poor? Do they all live in California or New York or Kansas? What are your hobbies? Do they look expensive or entail high risk?" ABC News quoted Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum as saying.
Dixon also warned that the chance of getting that dream job depends on the would-be employer's predilections.
The employer's decision not to hire a potential employee may be ethically outrageous but its legal.
"It's kind of scary," says Tena Friery, research director for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
"We know social networking sites can be hacked-that someone can post something under someone else's name. What happens if somebody wants to sabotage a job applicant? And would the potential employee even know it was taking place?"