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Colleges Help Students Fix Their Online Indiscretions 189

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-going-to-see-this dept.
A growing number of colleges are providing graduating students tools to improve their online image. The services arrange for positive results on search engine inquiries by pushing your party pictures, and other snapshots of your lapsed judgement off the first page. Syracuse, Rochester and Johns Hopkins are among the schools that are offering such services free of charge. From the article: "Samantha Grossman wasn't always thrilled with the impression that emerged when people Googled her name. 'It wasn't anything too horrible,' she said. 'I just have a common name. There would be pictures, college partying pictures, that weren't of me, things I wouldn't want associated with me.' So before she graduated from Syracuse University last spring, the school provided her with a tool that allowed her to put her best Web foot forward. Now when people Google her, they go straight to a positive image — professional photo, cum laude degree and credentials — that she credits with helping her land a digital advertising job in New York."
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Colleges Help Students Fix Their Online Indiscretions

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  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @12:21PM (#42450815) Homepage

    Facebook is one example of a site that has a crappy policy that only allows you to have one profile. It makes sense to have two social media profiles, one for your personal life which you share with friends, post your party pictures and aren't afraid to write whatever you want, and one for your professional life, where you add coworkers and talk about work.

    Yet Facebook and other sites are forbidding this, making people put everything in one pot. It's becoming more difficult to separate your personal life from your professional life these days. Stupid real name policies and pervasive connection of everything to everything else is a curse.

    We need a push towards policies that make it easy for people to keep personal and work lives separate. It's common sense.

  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @12:28PM (#42450895)
    "... that she credits with helping her land a digital advertising job in New York." Her first task: get herself and her company some Slashdot hits.
  • Positive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) <`ten.tenaprac' `ta' `cjs'> on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @12:28PM (#42450903) Homepage

    So we define positive in terms of social stigma? God forbid you would be associated with having some social accumen and having a good time. Its always a negative to find out someone has ever been to a party with alcohol.

    I don't see whats so negative.... some people could hold anything against you. Do you really want to work for/with such people?

  • by Psyborgue (699890) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @12:31PM (#42450927) Homepage Journal
    That wouldn't solve her problem, which is that somebody with her exact name had been a very bad girl online. In that case, it makes sense to create a "clean" persona and attempt to push that to the top.
  • by kannibal_klown (531544) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @12:32PM (#42450939)

    Though some tech jobs might look down at not having a web presence. Perhaps you're out of touch with the electronic world? Perhaps you don't know about social apps, communities, web 2.0, whatever "buzz words" HR might look for.

    I'm not saying it's true, just that it could be perceived as true by the HR guys that filter the resumes before they get sent to the department. While other people might look favorably on that for a candidate: security conscious and what-not.

    It reminds of a job I applied for, I knew the person hiring (not an underling, the flippin' manager). He said for legal reasons I had to submit my resume through their official channels but once it got to his department he'd help me out. A few weeks go by and he asks why I didn't follow up with the job, I told him I did. He was puzzled, and came back to me later -- the HR department weeded mine out because I "only" had X years experience with .Net. They were weeding out people who didn't have Y+ years experience with .Net... which was "awesome" because they wanted 10+ years with .Net and it had only officially been out for a couple.

    He was not happy (nor was I).

  • Of all Samanthas (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @12:34PM (#42450977)

    It wasn't anything too horrible, Samantha Grossman said. I just have a common name. There would be pictures, college partying pictures, that weren't of me, things I wouldn't want associated with me.

    So, how is this Samantha Grossman's prerogative to have exactly her pictures as the top result, instead of the other Samantha Grossmans, who now fret that there are pictures there that aren't associated with them?

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @12:36PM (#42450987)

    Facebook is one example of a site that has a crappy policy that only allows you to have one profile. It makes sense to have two social media profiles, one for your personal life which you share with friends, post your party pictures and aren't afraid to write whatever you want, and one for your professional life, where you add coworkers and talk about work.

    Maybe Facebook could let you organize your social media contacts into different "circles" and let you share content based on which "circle" a person in. They could keep the membership of those "circles" private so no one knows which circle they are in or who else in in that circle.

    Someone should start a social media site like that! [google.com] It's sure to be a Facebook killer.

  • by Psyborgue (699890) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @12:38PM (#42451021) Homepage Journal
    This is exactly what people like her fear. I'm not saying it's a realistic fear, but it's a common one.
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @01:00PM (#42451209) Journal

    There is a cure for that...

    Use Facebook for all your personal crap, and LinkedIn for all your professional crap.

    Or, just tell Facebook to go /sbin/fsck themselves and create two accounts anyway (one is accessed via Chrome, the other via Firefox, or whatever).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @01:08PM (#42451329)

    Eh, I would have started using Google+ for exactly those reasons. I never made a FB profile for exactly those reasons.

    ...and then Eric Schmidt made it clear that Google+ is an *identity* service. I have no desire to use a service that enforces a real name policy. I'm not alone in that. And, of course, Diaspora is an abortion; most notable merely for being the first time I heard about the Kickstarter metascam site.

    /AC, because obviously...

  • by bananaquackmoo (1204116) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @01:11PM (#42451371)
    Believe it or not this doesn't appear to be blackhat. It is SEO though, you're right about that.
  • Re:Positive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @01:23PM (#42451565)

    You are confusing your utopian vision with the real world. How people should judge others is unimportant. How they *do* judge others is. So long as potential employers are judging you, you would do well to play the game and act like the most professional and dull person in the world. Unless you enjoy going back to your parents and begging to be allowed to live in the basement again.

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