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How To Look Good When the Recruiter Googles You
You'd best bet everyone at the company is not only googling you, but digging up your MySpace and your blog as well. That doesn't mean you have to stop having fun; it just means you have to take the following steps to keep what's none of their business out of their business.
You were qualified, they could afford you, and they needed you. So why didn't they hire you? They didn't want to tell you, but your boss-to-be rejected you because of the best kegger of your senior year. She saw the photo with the sorority girl with -- is that a tattoo or a third nipple? -- straddling you as you spray Heineken all over her. A new study summarized by CNET says that one in five employers look up job candidates online. In your industry, you'd best bet everyone at the company is not only googling you, but digging up your MySpace and your blog as well. That doesn't mean you have to stop having fun; it just means you have to take the following steps to keep what's none of their business out of their business.
Realize what's unsafe
Decide if you really want to be safe
So before you clean up your image, see if someone will hire you just as you are. Where would the world be if Hunter S. Thompson had cleaned up for Rolling Stone?
Check your profiles
Make your profiles private
Note that MySpace still shows your profile photo and quote. Shouldn't be too hard to make those presentable, no?
On Facebook, click "My Privacy" in the left column. Note that you can be part of several "networks." If you're part of your city's network in addition to your college, you can turn off parts of your profile just for people from the same city who aren't your friends. Of course, an alumnus from your college may check your profile. No worries; you can specifically deny access to alumni. If you want, they'll only see your profile photo, name and networks. Just remember, if you "poke" or request to add anyone as a friend, they'll be able to see your profile.
Check your blog
Control the pages you don't control
Unfortunately, if the material ends up on a journalistic (or even pseudo-journalistic) site, the chances of this favor are small. Journalists generally consider it unethical to clean up a subject's image. (I've had to decline several people's requests at Valleywag.) So please, when you go nuts, stay away from the press.
Run the best defense with a good offense
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