That picture of you doing double-fisted whiskey shots may seem funny on facebook, but it might not be so amusing if your would-be boss sees it prior to a job interview.
Nebraska students may benefit from hearing author and attorney C-L Lindsay who’s visiting schools and giving a talk called, “What You Do Online Can Come Back to Haunt You.”
“Students, both college and high school, are getting themselves into all sorts of trouble online and what this program will cover is bascially how to stay out of that trouble,” Lindsay says.
Three main topics will be covered: downloading music, online plagarism, and online privacy — which includes postings to websites like facebook and MySpace, and the new issue of sexting, or sending explicit pictures via cell phone.
Lindsay says high schoolers might appreciate knowing about one in ten college admissions offices do background checks of prospective students by mining social networking websites.
“Seventy-five percent of recruiting firms say they look at a potential candidate on MySpace or facebook before they engage them and help them to get a job,” he says. “Forty-percent of employers say they do and 45-percent of both say they’ve refused somebody just by something they’ve found online.”
Lindsay says people are wrong to think the pictures, videos or comments they put online will only be read or seen by their friends. “You just have to assume that one of the first things somebody might know about you is something they found out about you online,” he says.
“Think of the offline equivalent and if you wouldn’t do it offline, don’t do it online and that’s no where more true than in an interview. You wouldn’t print an eight-by-ten glossy of yourself doing something really stupid and hold it out doing the interview, but by putting stuff up online, that’s essentially what you’re doing.”
Lindsay is director of the Philadelphia-based Coalition for Student and Academic Rights, or CO-STAR and he’s the author of “The College Student’s Guide to the Law.”