has launched a new tool to help employers conduct background searches on job applicants.

Applicant Explorer uses Microsoft’s Bing search engine to grab “public yet hard-to-find” information from forum posts, press releases, public and personal blogs, and social networking websites. That information is combined with CareerBuilder’s database of 31 million resumes.

The tool is certainly timely. 38 percent of employers report that they already research job candidates online.

CareerBuilder says it will help employers save time and is offering the service for free with resume database subscriptions.

CareerBuilder’s director of profile search Greg Brass says that individuals shouldn’t worry about their privacy. Applicant Explorer only finds data that is available “via any major search engine.”

Nevertheless, it further emphasizes the oft-stated point that job searchers need to be careful about what they post to their social networking profiles.

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