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August 07, 2007

Using Facebook and MySpace to Evaluate Teaching Applications


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Hello Job Hunters,

Isn't the process of finding suitable employment fun? Ever felt, after not getting any positive bites on your application process that, maybe, some private investigator out there was feeding your employer personal info about you that you purposefully, for reasons of legal entitlement, left off of your C.V.?

Background checks are nothing new, but a news story I read yesterday also comes as no big surprise. In our field, to find out what you AREN'T saying on your vita, employers could look at anything from your MSN, Yahoo, AOL, or other online profiles we may have created years ago (before we were prepared or decided to teach), or, if you are teaching already, Ratemyprofessor.com and so on. Sometimes just "googling" your name or groups can reveal a lot and, don't forget blogging!

Recently--and, I'm guilty of this--networking sites like Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook can tell a lot about you to someone you might want to have as an internet friend, but maybe not your employer! Maybe you don't want them to know, for instance, that you are a teacher-centered lecturer, into Bulgarian folk music journals, keg-party photo collecting, cat-juggling discussion groups, or international facial tattoo conferences.

In her article, "Job hunters hire experts to clean up online image," Reuters correspondent Stephanie Bagley discusses what some people currently on the job market are doing, and I am assuming this to include English Teachers, to. . .

. . . polish up their public image before going on the job market with their credentials. Below is an excerpt from Bagley's piece. A link to the full article follows. If you find that you can no longer comment there, please feel free to do so here. I would be interested to hear how you think that this kind of background checking affects our field, specifically.

~Lee

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Job Hunters Hire Experts to Clean Up Online Image

By Stephanie Bagley

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Job hunters perfecting their resumes for that dream job are being urged to also polish their online profile -- and clean it up if needs be, with a new breed of companies emerging to help mold Internet images.

Recruitment experts advise job hunters to Google themselves before stepping out into the competitive job market to see if a search pull ups that blog entry written about legalizing marijuana or drunken party photos with friends.

"The internet brings a new dimension to the application process. Sometimes it can work to your advantage, and sometimes to your disadvantage," employment Web site Careerbuilder.com spokeswoman Jennifer Sullivan told Reuters.

Various surveys have shown that employers are using online searches to check out potential candidates -- especially as some of the early Internet surfers become bosses themselves.

A study of 1,150 hiring managers by Careerbuilder.com found 26 percent of managers admitted to using search engines such as Google and 12 percent of managers said they used social networking sites like Facebook.com in their hiring process.

Those numbers may be low, but not the repercussions.

Of the 12 percent who checked social networking sites, 63 percent declined to hire an applicant based on what they found, citing lying about qualifications and criminal behavior as two of the top disqualifiers.

But with hiring managers and job seekers using new and different ways to stay one step ahead of each other, new technology has emerged to help both sides of the game.

For $10 a month, ReputationDefender.com will search your name everywhere -- even "beyond Google" -- including password-protected sites, and give a report of their findings . . .

Please click HERE to read rest of article.
Article source URL: http://www.reuters.com/article/email/idUSN0224087420070806

Posted by lhobbs at August 7, 2007 10:42 AM

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