March 29, 2010
Posted: 04:14 PM ET
By Stephanie Goldberg, Special to CNN
"There are a lot of pictures of drinking [but] nothing naked or anything - at least I don't think so," he said jokingly.
Even so, the Michigan State University junior recently changed his Facebook display name to "Dustin Jawel" to keep his personal life from potential employers while applying for summer internships.
Although Gawel ditched his rhyming alias after two weeks when he realized Facebook users also can be searched by e-mail address, school and network, he is not alone in his efforts to scrub his online résumé. Many students and recent graduates say they are changing their names on Facebook or tightening privacy settings to hide photos and wall posts from potential employers.
And with good reason.
A recent survey commissioned by Microsoft found that 70 percent of recruiters and hiring managers in the United States have rejected an applicant based on information they found online.
What kind of information? "Inappropriate" comments by the candidate; "unsuitable" photos and videos; criticisms of previous employers, co-workers, or clients; and even inappropriate comments by friends and relatives, according to the survey report, titled "Online Reputation in a Connected World."
Such prying into his online life makes Gawel uncomfortable.
"I understand that when [employers look] at someone's Facebook page, they're just trying to paint a bigger picture of the people they're hiring - so they're not just a name on a résumé," he said. "But that doesn't demonstrate whether they can do the job. It shouldn't matter what someone does when they're not in the office."
Filed under: Entertainment
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