Re: Theos-World Assumed Names and Pseudonyms
Mar 19, 2006 12:26 PM
by Steven Levey
As possible as this is, we don't want to become too paranoid
M K Ramadoss <email@example.com> wrote:
It looks like time has come that each one of us may have take up one
or more assumed names to protect ourselves from our own on-line
postings. What we put up on maillists, websites and blogs can come
back to haunt us in more ways than we can ever for see. Here is an
ps:I am meditating on the assumed name I should choose to hide my
Being Googled can jeopardize your job search
By PIPER WEISS
Yikes! Colleen Kluttz eyes the results of a Google search of her name.
Using Google, the wildly popular Internet search engine, as an action
verb has been a part of our cultural fabric for years now. Daily,
millions use it to "Google" old flames, long-lost friends and even
ourselves in hopes of digging up dirt. But who would have thought this
addictive habit could stand in the way of landing your next job?
But it's not your Googling another person that starts the trouble:
the danger occurs when a potential boss Googles you.
An increasing number of employers are investigating potential hires
online to find out more about an applicant than what's on their
You may be the perfect candidate for the job, but if your name pulls
up something incriminating in a Google search, you could lose your
shot. "People do need to keep in mind that the information they post
online - whether in a résumé, profile or otherwise - should be
considered public information," warns Danielle C. Perry, director of
public relations at Monster.com. Sure, you may not have intentionally
posted something controversial about yourself online, but from blogs
to dating profiles, the Web has become a place where people air dirty
laundry without a thought, making it a dangerous place to mix business
Just ask 27-year-old Colleen Kluttz. Type the freelance television
producer's name into Google and the second item that comes up is her
popular My Space profile. This online social network has become an
outpost for photographic and written self-expression, but it's not
always an asset in landing a job. "A friend of mine posted a picture
of me on My Space with my eyes half closed and a caption that suggests
I've smoked something illegal," says Kluttz.
While the caption was a joke, Kluttz now wonders whether the past two
employers she interviewed with thought it was so funny. Both expressed
interest in hiring Kluttz, but at the 11th hour went with someone
else. "As a freelancer, I'm constantly on the lookout for the next
best opportunity, but I haven't been having much luck recently,"
Kluttz explains. "I really haven't been concerned that people are
Googling me, but now that I'm doing the math, it seems like this is
definitely going to be a constant concern from this day forward."
In addition to all the other stresses of a job search, do you really
have to assume you'll get Googled any time you apply for a job?
Employment experts say yes. "More and more companies are doing
background checks," says Michael Erwin, senior career adviser at
Career Builder.com. "If you have something on Google, it's better to
let them know in advance." He also warns, "Make sure what you put on
your résumé is truthful."
FOIBLES AND RANTS EXPOSED
Bloggers may also have reason for concern. When Ciara Healy applied
for a job at a university, she had no idea her personal blog could get
her into trouble. But when a member of the search committee Googled
her, he found she had called him a "belligerent jerk," though not by
name, and canceled the interview. "I almost immediately deleted the
blog," wrote Healy via E-mail. For obvious reasons, Healy doesn't
think employers should Google candidates, but also because she doesn't
believe that one's entire life should be up for review. "What is on
the table at an interview should be skills, detectible levels of
craziness, overall impression and a good fit in the workplace," she
writes, "not your foibles, rants, petty opinions or brilliant
While Kluttz can change her My Space profile and Healy has axed her
blog, other Google-addled job seekers, like Jason Hartley, find
themselves stuck. Hartley, 34, a full-time blogger and writer, has
always been careful about what he posts on his personal music blog,
Advanced Theory. But there's nothing he can do about the two other
Jason Hartleys that appear when you type his name into Google.
"There's a guy who's a dancer," says Hartley. "We're the same age and
I used to be a dancer, so people assume it's me." If that weren't
enough, there's a third Jason Hartley and he's a well-known blogger.
"He's a soldier who's gotten a lot of recognition for writing about
the Iraq war. He's a real standup guy and again people think he's me."
Needless to say, whenever Hartley goes on an interview he has to be
upfront. "If I were going on a job interview, I would have to say I'm
not that guy."
Be good for Google
Worried about what'll pop up if a potential boss looks you up? On
Google, you can't afford to fudge a date or a job title, so be sure
your résumé information matches your Web presence. If you keep a blog,
be careful how much you reveal about your personal life. Even if it
doesn't affect your getting hired, it may expose aspects of your life
you'd rather keep out of the office.
Of course Google can work to your advantage, too. If you're looking
to seal the deal on a job, it can't hurt to search for your employer's
interests and job history to see what you have in common. Hint at a
shared interest and he or she might just overlook that compromising My
Space picture after all.
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