For advertising and marketing professionals entering the workforce, a quick Google search could make or break your chances of landing a job in the industry.

A new survey from staffing and recruiting agency The Creative Group shows that gathering additional information on prospective employees online is a shockingly common practice among advertising and marketing executives.

Even worse, what hiring managers find is also often cause for declining to hire those potential candidates.

TCG Graph

An overwhelming number of executives surveyed admitted using Google or a similar search engine to find information on prospective employees, with more than a third — 34 percent — of ad executives and more than one-quarter — 26 percent — of marketing executives saying they do this at least some of the time.

Nearly a third — 29 percent — of advertising executives, as well as 18 percent of marketing executives, said they always conduct online searches to gather additional information on a prospective new hire.

Moreover, many of the ad and marketing executives surveyed admitted that their online sleuthing has compelled them not to hire potential candidates. Nearly half — 48 percent — of advertising executives, as well as 26 percent of marketing executives, said they’ve declined to offer candidates a job simply based on what they’ve uncovered via the Internet.

When it comes to managing your online presence, the Creative Group survey concludes that job seekers shouldn’t only shape online content to mitigate red flags; given the number of potential eyes watching, they should also use the Internet to showcase their assets.

The staffing agency suggested that professionals moderate their online posting and exhibit caution in what they share, and suggested putting skills and insights on display by posting a digital portfolio showcasing work, as well as commenting in relevant forums or authoring industry-relevant online articles.

The Creative Group survey was conducted in November by research firm SSRS. It included 400 telephone responses from randomly selected U.S. advertising and marketing executives, 200 of whom are stationed at companies with 100 or more employees and 200 who work at agencies with 20 or more employees.

The Creative Group is a division of professional staffing service Robert Half.