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Job Candidates Getting Tripped Up by Facebook

August 15, 2007

Many students learn the hard way that online image can limit opportunity

This was a headline of an article that I read yesterday. Online “social-networking” sites can be useful but they can be harmful as well. There are no laws, as of yet, that prohibit an employeer from viewing an employee’s or job candidate’s MySpace or Facebook profile.

Interviews are great, but you can learn a lot more about a person if you simply look them up on the internet. I look up almost everyone I meet or am going to meet using Google … yes, I’ve probably even ‘googled’ you.

If you google my name, the only items that pop up are where I’ve used my full name to comment on someone’s blog (I usually try to not do this … it happened one time!) and on my roommate’s myspace page because again, she used my full name.

I keep all of my “online profiles” (MySpace, Facebook, blog, etc.) set where they are undectable using any search engines (Google, Yahoo …). They all have this capability, you just have to take the time to search for your privacy settings and change them. This means that any of the content within my websites cannot be searched. So if I mention your name in my blog, no one using google will know.

However, the website URL’s can be searched. So if you type in “Claires Music” into Google, it will pop up. I know that anyone with enough free time and knowledge can get around my little controls, but the basic user can’t 🙂

So all this writing to warn you … watch out what you put on the internet! I know that my employer looked at my myspace page before they hired me (using a myspace login before I blocked it) and others do too.

Just the other day, it made the news that according to Rudy Giuliani’s daughter’s Facebook profile, she’s supporting Obama.

Anything on the web is not off limits …  

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