NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's a tough time to be looking for a job in any field, and though the internet can be a valuable tool for job seekers. It can also be a prospective hire's ticket to the un-employment office.
Social sites like Facebook and MySpace offer a snapshot of your private life, but the World Wide Web might not be the forum to expose your worldly ways.
"It's not something you can manage. Like, once it's out there you can't necessarily get it back," says Joyce Rothenberg, Director of Vanderbilt University Career Management Center.
Rothenberg teaches MBAs how to prepare for the work world. She says it's safe to assume you're being screened by a prospective employer, and an internet search could mean make or break.
"If there's any question about whether you're really the right fit, or you're not the right fit, and then there's a bunch of stuff on-line that confirms for the company that you're not a good cultural fit. That can make the difference," says Rothenberg.
There is a certain permanence to anything you submit online. Rothenberg calls it an electronic footprint. This social site smorgasbord is stirring discussion about who owns what.
Belmont students questioned a panel of experts on the heels of a recent claim by Facebook that it owns everything users submit, but users must own-up to the social consequences.
Jason Meriwether, assistant dean of student affairs from Fisk University, recalls a college grad losing out on a high paying job.
"That happened to him. He had a job paying him $90,000 a year from an engineering firm. They did a background check, and by the time they finished looking at his Facebook page, they rescinded the job offer," said Meriwether.