Employers search YOU as a job applicant

This morning I was scanning through the presets on the radio when the word “social networking” jumped out at me. Adam Corolla and his guests where discussing how a person’s Facebook and MySpace profiles could negatively affect a job applicants interview. This is not the first time I have heard and/or discussed this very topic. Back in 2006, seems like a long time ago, I was listening to NPR and the topic of Googling job applicants arose. These two topics are so similar and if you are not aware how search works then it may seem like no big deal to post more personal information on a Facebook or MySpace profile.

The difference between these two programs was that the latest, Adam Corolla’s show, talked about how job applicants were being turned down solely based on information found on a Facebook or MySpace profile. Personally, I got away from MySpace just because I feel the network is complete trash; the software, the comments, the blogs, the blinkies and total lack of social etiquette. In my last blog entry I vowed I would never return and for people passing through to check out my MSN Space blog (my very first one).

Even though I do post personal information it is within in the realm of a PG rating. That is where many people get into trouble. People post stuff that is mostly inappropriate and made for only friends to see but they forget that whole internet is searchable.

Posting inappropriate information on social networks can have a lot of unanticipated results that could end up haunting a person for a long time. So how do you want to protect yourself from that web surfing interviewer? Here is a list of 5 ways to protect one’s self.

1. Post only content (blogs, comments, pictures) that you wouldn’t mind your mom or grandma seeing.
2. Ask yourself: “is this info, I am posting, just so I look cool in front of my peers?”
3. Avoid content that could negatively impact you professionally.
4. Avoid certain networks and applications that could negatively impact you professionally.
5. Ask yourself: What is the value of this information?

Ok, I couldn’t resist adding one more.

6. Always, I mean always, moderate comments on your blogs or social networks.

As professionals, who are trying to use these networks to grow there business, we always have to be aware what content is being published on our sites. I use the Aksimet to filter my spam comments on almost all my websites and it does really well. Other social sites don’t use such savory tools and typically all comments are automatically posted with out a moderation process, my MSN Space is that way and it isn’t that good.

I have even have gone as far as to tell my friends not to post junk on my websites because I do not like how that information could be misconstrued by a visitor.

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