Magazine article Work & Family Life

'Will an Employer See My Son's Web Page?'

Magazine article Work & Family Life

'Will an Employer See My Son's Web Page?'

Article excerpt

Q My son just graduated from college and is looking for a job in the corporate world. I urged him to remove any web material he has posted that an employer might find objectionable. He says I'm being paranoid.

-K.J., Southfield, MI

A Your concerns are well founded-and a career counselor at your son's college would likely give him the same advice.

These days many companies and graduate schools are using search engines such as Google and Yahoo to conduct background checks on applicants.

Items that appear on sites such as Facebook, Xanga, MySpace and Friendster might seem hilarious or "cool" to a student's friends when they were posted, but could make a job applicant appear immature and unprofessional, at the very least. Provocative photos and text about drinking, smoking, parties and highly personal behavior may be seen as "red flags" that could make the difference in a competitive situation.

Many young people think of online space as their own, especially if they have used a websites privacy settings. But in the cyber-world-as we have all seen-personal privacies can very easily become public.

While many U.S. companies say they are not interested in this type of information about prospective employees, others are. …

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