Beyond the Resume

You might want to think twice before signing up for a myspace account or building your own web page. It might come back to haunt you if you're applying for a job.

University of Memphis sophomore Olivia Inkster didn't see us coming, but she was perfect for our story. "I have facebook and myspace," she explained.

And, she admits, she posts all sorts of personal information that a future employer might not be happy about.

"Going out, every day activities. You might not want your employer to know all about your personal life. And that stuff's online? Yeah," she said.

She's not alone.

Cory Major has heard horror stories about students. "Jokingly, she had in her little profile, information about her rates. Her rates? Her rates, as if she were an escort," he said describing one of the experiences he had working in the career services office at the University of Memphis.

Major is intern coordinator. He told us how crafty employers are becoming and how often they're busting job candidates for their online indiscretions.

"Just because you're coming across smoothly and seem to be polished in that setting, there's a whole other side to you that might not be evident to them," he said.

And the employers are looking, googling to your web site, learning about who you are. You know, those things you wouldn't put on your resume.

"I chose just not to do that... Put my name out there in that kind of arena," said senior Andra Jackson, who chose not to dabble.

In fact, a recent survey found found 47% of college grads who use sites like MySpace and Facebook have either already changed or plan to change the content of their pages as a result of their job search. "This young lady had on her myspace page that she was hosting a get drunk party and the employer saw it and she wasn't accepted for the position," said Jackson, who has also heard horror stories.

Major tells his students to google themselves so they know what would-be employers are seeing. And because it's sometimes impossible to fully remove web sites, the sooner you get the personal details offline, the less you'll have to worry about.

Click here to send Darrell Phillips an email.

A recent article examines this issue.  One expert is quoted in the piece as saying, "Entry level job seekers who use MySpace and Facebook should update their pages to reflect their job search image. If you don't want information seen by employers, don't publish it publicly."  If you'd like to read that article, click on the "associated link" on this page.