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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

MySpace/Facebook Revisited

The New York Times did a feature about online information coming back to haunt students during their job searches on Sunday.
Many companies that recruit on college campuses have been using search engines like Google and Yahoo to conduct background checks on seniors looking for their first job. But now, college career counselors and other experts say, some recruiters are looking up applicants on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Xanga and Friendster, where college students often post risqué or teasing photographs and provocative comments about drinking, recreational drug use and sexual exploits in what some mistakenly believe is relative privacy.
Despite anecdotal evidence that companies are checking up on student applicants, some college career center directors don't think the practice is widespread. While students have always thought Facebook was "private" because it requires a .edu email address to join, some companies are using student interns or employees who have .edu email addresses provided by their Alumni affiliation with a school to access that site.

I've commented before that we aren't looking students up during the admission process (and still get the question routinely), but that shouldn't make students feel secure in posting evidence of bad behavior online. I think every student needs to err on the side of caution and edit the information they are including in their online profiles.