A friend suggested in February that Mr. Nguyen research himself on Google. He found a link to a satirical essay, titled "Lying Your Way to the Top," that he had published last summer on a Web site for college students. He asked that the essay be removed. Soon, he began to be invited to job interviews, and he has now received several offers.
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It's now in a public arena. At Microsoft, Mr. Ashton said, recruiters are given broad latitude over how to work, and there is no formal policy about using the Internet to research applicants.
Microsoft and Osram Sylvania have also begun to use networking sites in a different way, participating openly in online communities to get out their company's messages and to identify talented job candidates. Students may not know when they have been passed up for an interview or a job offer because of something a recruiter saw on the Internet. But more than a dozen college career counselors said recruiters had been telling them since last fall about incidents in which students' online writing or photographs had raised serious questions about their judgment, eliminating them as job candidates.
Some college career executives are skeptical that many employers routinely check applicants online.
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At a conference in late May, Mr. Devlin said, he asked 40 employers if they researched students online and every one said no. Many career counselors have been urging students to review their pages on Facebook and other sites with fresh eyes, removing photographs or text that may be inappropriate to show to their grandmother or potential employers.
Counselors are also encouraging students to apply settings on Facebook that can significantly limit access to their pages. Melanie Deitch, director of marketing at Facebook, said students should take advantage of the site's privacy settings and be smart about what they post.
But students may not be following the advice. Smith, assistant vice chancellor and director of the career center at Washington University in St. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles.
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Thank you for subscribing. The new interface, while different from the old one, feels familiar in that it seems pretty half-baked and looks like shit. Click "Sign in. Dig deep into the recesses of your memory and try to remember your old email and password. C'mon, you can do it.
A little trial and error never hurt anybody. You're not on AOL anymore? Once you're in, hit the "Mixes" tab on the left sidebar. If you'd rather they disappear forever, click on your name in the bottom left-hand corner to get to your main profile page, then click "Photos" and purge as you see fit.
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And yes, you can look through their photos too. It's just a shame captions and comments were not salvaged. Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. He'll be back as soon as he tweaks his top eight one more time.