Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pisst Titled:
Post Subtitled: Oh, yea, that is why this blog is more-or-less anonymous?... almost forgot.
Debate about the effects of people's MySpace and Facebook profiles on their job application process has been raging for days in a Yahoo! group that I belong to, my response was:

"as much as I wouldn't want to be rejected myself due to facebook or myspace page contents- about two years ago we were using craigslist to find a new housemate and I then found myself compulsively googling/mspacing/facebooking potential people after we had met with them. Unfair? Needless to say we did not gice a second interview to the recent college grad sorority girl who was a self-described "booze-whore" in her myspace page. She was slightly shady, obviously not a good fit for the house but the "booze whore" really put the nail in the coffin.
Basically, employers could be a bit more realistic/lenient with regards to expectations about what they will find / weighing the sorts of things they are bound to come across when looking at these people's online selves AND -more importantly- this Myfacespacebook Generation could be a LOT smarter about calling themselves "booze-whores" -(wtf?)


"A noted futurist (I'll see if I can dig up the name and the linked essay) wrote a great piece about a year ago on how the concept of privacy would be seen as silly and old-fashioned in the near future. I don't think the generation of kids growing up now will fully experience that, but perhaps
the next generation will."

"If I read about your recovery from cancer, I'm less apt to hire you because
people who have had cancer are statistically more likely to have it again.

If I read about growing up adopted, I'm perhaps more likely to hire you
since I was adopted too.

My point: Everything counts, one way or another."

"I love how the word "discrimination" gets thrown around like it's automatically a bad thing.
If you're hiring people, your *job* is to discriminate: Against morons. Against people who do not know how to project a professional image. Against people who can't get the typos out of their resumes and cover letters. Social networking sites allow you to add a few more criteria -- now you can discriminate against people who interview well, but lack judgment about how
to more generally present themselves. You can discriminate against people
who party too much and might be too hung over to work. You can discriminate
against liars who then brag to their friends about their lies (amazing how
many people do this). And if you're me, you can discriminate against anyone
with nose, eyebrow or tongue jewelry. (Hi, I'm a hardass.)

The things you can't discriminate against are spelled out clearly in federal
and state law; everything else -including everything I just listed- can
and should be fair game."

"What if you are eliminated from a pool of applicants, not because of who you are on Facebook but who your friends are?
If you're friends with people who are gay or bisexual or black or Christian
or Jewish, and you're not hired because of the person's bias against that
group - then they aren't technically discriminating against you for those
things but you're still being eliminated due to those categories. Where do
you draw the line?"

X wrote:
New twist on this topic... What if someone else posts something -- picture, text, etc. -- about you on their blog, Facebook / MySpace page, etc., and then refuses to take it down. What then? What do you do and how do you address it during the job search process, especially if you KNOW it's something that someone doing a simple web search will find? Do you acknowledge it, thereby drawing attention to it and perhaps giving it extra credence, and try to mitigate its effect by explaining it? Or do you simply ignore it and risk not even getting calls for interviews?
Y wrote:
Dear X, As I understand it, if you can prove that it is untruthful and it has caused injury (like costing you a job), you have a case for libel.
45 states recognize that some categories of statements are considered to be defamatory "per se", such that people making a defamation claim for these statements do not need to prove that the statement was defamatory. In the common law tradition, damages for such statements are presumed and do not have to be proven. Traditionally, these per se defamatory statements include:
* Allegations or imputations "injurious to another in their trade, business, or profession"
* Allegations or imputations "of loathsome disease"
* Allegations or imputations of "unchastity"
* Allegations or imputations of criminal activity
The key being though that the allegations are untrue. If they're true, you don't have much of a leg to stand on.
In terms of whether to engage or not, you have to determine how much of a threat it really is. Some times it's not worth the effort because few people saw or will see it, the source is questionable, etc. On the other hand, if it does have a possibility of getting a larger audience or people may actually believe it, then it may be in your best interest to take action."

"Clean up your digital identity. If you • have a MySpace, Facebook or other social networking profile, take some time to review your pages and make sure they are presenting the image of yourself you’d want a recruiter or your future boss to see—because they ARE LOOKING. You may need to edit profile information, delete certain "friends" or groups, take down some photos. It’s time to leave the kegger behind and focus on the next stage in your career. No one expects you to be perfect, but this is your opportunity to put your best foot forward. Have someone you trust review your profile and give you their opinion. Make sure the email address you use is professional; they should not contain nicknames or slang. When possible use an email address that incorporates your first and last name."

"The fact is, if it's posted on-line in public view, a potential employer
could disqualify you for virtually any piece of information that he/she
doesn't like. And you will never know what happened or why.
My philosophy is this: I don't post anything I wouldn't want an employer to
see, but I also don't hold back on anything important to me in my personal
If an employer were to reject me for anything I've consciously posted
on-line, then that's not the employer I want to work for. "


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