Can I Find You on the Web?
You know what a wonderful tool the Internet can be. While you were a student, you used the Internet as a research tool for writing papers. You can't imagine life without e-mail. Right now, you are using it in your job search. The Web is truly an indispensable tool. However, it can also hinder your job search and potentially damage your career.
Many people, generally high school and college students, use social networking sites like MySpace.com and Facebook. Do you? These sites allow users to post profiles and photographs of themselves that others can easily access. “Others” include friends, strangers, relatives, potential employers … Potential employers? Well, of course, if strangers can find you online, why wouldn't an employer be able to? It turns out that employers are quite computer savvy — and quite nosy.
Is there a chance you may have forgotten something you put online a while ago? Do a Google search on your name to make sure there is nothing on the Web that can cause harm to your job hunt. Remember, some things stay online until you take them down. And since Google doesn't pick up everything, check some other search engines, like Yahoo! and Ask.com, as well.
When investigating job candidates, employers often turn to the Web, particularly sites like MySpace and Facebook, but they also look at blogs. If there's something you wouldn't want an employer to know about you or something you might find embarrassing, you should take it down now. You may argue that what you do outside of work is no one's business. Yes, you are entitled to a personal life, but if you open that personal life to the public, you may compromise your chances of getting hired.