MySpacers Beware: Potential Employers May Review Your Profile
> 6/12/2006 2:02:08 PM

A Sunday New York Times article which will undoubtedly scare more than a few recent graduates into revising their online profiles reports on companies who Google the names of job applicants, in the process discovering blog entries and personal information which can reduce a prospective's chances of landing the job in question.

The most common networking sites for young job seekers are the ubiquitous, big business-friendly Myspace and its college equivalent, Facebook, which boasts an incredible 85% membership rate among students at the nearly one thousand American universities it serves. The millions of profiles dotting these sites vary wildly in tone, content, and colorful wallpaper, with many users listing information about sexual proclivities or substance abuse that would probably best be left out of the public realm. Many Myspace users assume that very few people will actually read their profiles, but some of the most popular profiles report thousands of individual hits per day, and browsers can locate specific people in a few seconds or less, armed only with the user's full name.

Though the number of employers who actively seek out applicants' profiles is relatively low, this phenomenon has the potential to grow into a larger problem for students who are just beginning to realize that their profiles are not, in fact, totally private. One of the unfortunate implications of networking sites is the fact that almost anyone can easily access the information posted. This article addresses a very new and minor trend, but it may help to heighten students' sensitivity regarding which types of material they feel comfortable posting online. Some may feel like their privacy is compromised when employers check out their profiles, but they're learning the hard way that the information superhighway is a largely open-ended forum whose unflattering consequences can be viewed and reposted by almost anyone.

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