Thursday, January 19, 2012


FSP's post yesterday asked about googling applicants (either for potential colleagues or students). Does the info you find from googling help to select a student/employee?

I could see using google to confirm someone's credentials - did they actually attend university X? But extracurricular activities would have zero influence on any decision. I was burned in high school by not being appropriately social (I was passed over for all of those prestigous prizes even though I had better academics and far more significant volunteer/leadership positions), and I make it a point not to judge someone based on perceived ability to fit in.

Some people are more...outgoing online than others. I have a relatively low profile in social media - maybe I'm overly cautious, but I have friends and family with wildly diverging lifestyles/political beliefs, and I'm friends with several teenagers who consider me to be "auntie shorty". So I tend not to express anything controversial. My sweetie, however, loves to engage in arguments online and has a fair amount of work downtime in which to post, and so has a much more... assertive online personality. In real life, neither of us is more professional than the other.

I have a relatively common name, so if you google my name, you'll get a huge list of different women who are clearly not me. In order to find me, you need to add a few specific details (say, the subject of my thesis and article), and therefore you will be less likely to find anything, ah, incriminating. That suits me just fine.

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