Job Seekers, Check Your Selfie

Majority of Advertising and Marketing Executives Google Candidates, Survey Shows

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Toronto, ON. -- Looking to land a job in the creative industry? You’ll need more than an impressive resume and portfolio, according to new research from staffing firm The Creative Group. Sixty-three per cent of advertising executives and 44 per cent of marketing executives said they search online for information about prospective employees at least some of the time.

And if hiring managers don’t like what they see, applicants could be removed from the running. Almost half (48 per cent) of advertising executives and more than one-quarter (26 per cent) of marketing executives have decided not to extend a job offer to a candidate based on what they uncovered online.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “How frequently, if at all, do you use Google or another search engine to learn additional information about a prospective hire?



Advertising Executives

Marketing Executives













Don’t know/no answer








Advertising and marketing executives who said they search online to learn additional information about a prospective hire were also asked, “Have you ever decided not to hire a candidate based on information you found online?


Advertising Executives

Marketing Executives







Don’t know/no answer






*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

View an infographic of the research highlights.

“Creative candidates often put particular effort into developing resumes and portfolios, but they should pay equal attention to their total online presence and how it may come across to potential employers,” said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of The Creative Group. “Many times, hiring managers refer to social media sites to get a sense of who you are and how well you may fit into the company’s corporate culture.”

Establishing a strong online reputation can be an effective way for job seekers to rise above the competition, added Bottineau. “Consider using digital profiles to supplement your application materials; take the time to develop a personal brand that showcases your skills and expertise, while underscoring your passion and enthusiasm as a creative professional.”

The Creative Group offers five tips for creating an online presence that works for and not against you:

  1. Be careful what you share. What happens on the internet, stays on the internet. Whether it’s an unflattering photo or off-putting remark, the saying rings true. Use discretion when publishing content online, including social media.
  2. Put your skills on display. A digital portfolio is a must for today’s creative job seekers. Build a website or use a hosting platform to showcase work and passion projects, and include a link on your resume.
  3. Offer your insights. Show that you know your stuff by commenting in relevant forums or authoring online articles in your area of expertise. Doing so helps establish your credibility and dedication to the industry.
  4. Moderate your content. While a sparse online presence may be underwhelming, hiring managers don’t need to know everything about you. Sharing too much information, too often, can cause employers to question your focus and character.
  5. Stay on top of the task. Building and managing your digital footprint shouldn’t be limited to when you’re job hunting. Protect your professional reputation at all times to ensure you’re always putting your best self forward.

About the Research

The survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 400 telephone interviews -- with approximately 200 marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire and full-time basis. For more information, including job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and TCG’s blog, visit . Follow us at, and @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

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