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How Not to be Found

October 27, 2009

I’m always amused by the college-aged job seekers who change their Facebook name so potential employers won’t find them. A common tactic is to change last name to middle name – delightfully hip, and in most cases, you will sound more like a porn star (Benjamin Lawrence, anyone?).

But this is a game you will lose. Unless your name is John Smith, if employers even bother to look for you, you can’t hide. If they care enough to look, you can bet they will release the hounds. There’s no point in pulling the middle name trick if you’ve registered your profile URL under your real name. There are a lot of things I don’t understand. Why de-tag pictures if your profile is private anyway? (unless you look ugly in them – very probable). Protect your tweets, keep your LinkedIn hidden – it’s funny that these things are intended to be social tools and lubricants, and this obsession with corporate snooping is making people clam up. Kind of defeats the purpose, right?

With increasing parts of our lives under scrutiny, do people behave differently? We all know someone in college who refuses to have their picture taken at parties. God forbid they’re seen with that distinctive red Solo cup, full of some ambiguous, sinful substance.

So, a tip for people worried about what’s on the internet about them: Google your name, take a look at what you see, decide what you don’t like, and FIX IT!


If I were in human resources, and it was my job to research and report on candidates (same job function as a KGB agent), I’d make sure they drank out of at least a few Solo cups. A few Solo cups means well-adjusted in my book. Otherwise, they’re either neurotic enough to painstakingly delete all of their pictures, or they have no friends.

Or they don’t drink in college.

Which is ridiculous.




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