Comments published by individuals on FriendsReunited -- a Web site dedicated to letting your old school acquaintances know what you have been up to since joining the rat race -- are being used by companies as a "third reference", according to Media Contacts, a recruitment agency based in London.
Gordon Cherrington, a recruitment consultant at Media Contacts said: "People should think carefully what they say about employers -- past and present -- and themselves in any online public domain. Having fun and demonstrating a sense of humour is in general a good thing, though negativity in any form rarely reflects well on the writer."
The company decided to warn job seekers about the pitfalls of advertising themselves too honestly after a number of candidates had their job offers withdrawn or were forced to quit when comments they published on the FriendsReunited Web site were revealed.
According to Media Contacts, an account manager for an apparently "well-known" PR company was pushed into resignation after her bosses discovered that she described her boss as a "bitch from hell" and her employers as "a bunch of cowboys".
A senior sales executive was apparently sacked from his job after it was discovered that he only got his last job by "lying through his teeth at the interview" and admitted his CV was "a masterpiece of fiction and creative writing".
Another example of honesty not being the best policy was when a media sales executive had a job offer withdrawn when the potential employer discovered that the applicant only planned to stay in London for a few months before embarking on a world tour.