Believe it or not: Facebook can change your career

Daniella Belllafiore

By Daniella BellafioreStaff Reporter

Sweeping across the college world at a rapid pace, the Facebook phenomenon has been by far the latest craze among university students nationwide. With its astounding popularity, this online social networking system has taken the idea of technologically connecting college students to the next level. Functioning as an online directory, Facebook invites students of registered universities to join by creating an individual website profile. The members can include as much or as little information about themselves as possible, ranging from a personal photo, contact information, special interests, hobbies and relationship status. Students also have the option of selecting certain privacy preferences that limit which Facebook members are able to view their profile. However, many college kids take Facebook lightly, finding no need to enforce any privacy restrictions. Instead, they mock the identity function of a profile by uploading sham pictures of themselves and posting witty and nonsensical messages on one another’s walls. In addition, members are able to form Facebook groups, which usually are organized under humorous titles. While joining these certain groups may seem amusing among friends, how may a potential employer view your affiliation with such a group? Confirming almost anyone who requests to be their friend, students give little consideration to the wide exposure of their information. Given that the main function of Facebook is social networking, this usually is not a problem. However, when a profile is publicized to every possible Facebook user, an employer can easily run a search on a student who s/he has scheduled for an interview. Because the Facebook is open to alumni, it is easy for many employers to join the Facebook and have access to any college student’s profile. Raskin, a former editor of PC Magazine, said in a Wired News article, “You think you’re safe because of this .edu address, but anybody can get in there who wants to.”To protect themselves from appearing inappropriate, students have the option of cleaning up their profiles so that it is employer friendly. If students find it too difficult to let go of their quirky Facebook groups, however, they can always utilize their privacy preferences to block out anyone who is not an accepted Facebook friend. For some time now, the Career Services staff has reminded students to professionalize their email addresses and voice mail greetings to make a good impression on employers.  Facebook is now another thing to consider as students put themselves out there in job and internship searches. Created by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, the Facebook has become a company in its own right, with 2.8 million registered users spanning more than 800 campuses in the United States. With a daily and monthly user base visit of 65 percent and 95 percent, respectively, the Facebook is an active form of communication and identification throughout current college life. For Villanova students who are not yet part of the Facebook, but are interested in becoming part of this latest Internet craze, go to to register.