Social Notes: The company you keep |

Social Notes: The company you keep

More than 75 percent of college students may be using Facebook in a way that will damage their job prospects after they graduate. Party pics aren’t the only problem: “We found that a major cause for concern is people telling others about the organizations they belong to or the events they attend,” says Larry Chiagouris, a marketing professor at the Lubin School of Business at Pace University in New York, who conducted the study.

His study of 400 U.S. college students revealed that several key features of their Facebook pages suggest character traits “that most employers do not want in a prospective employee,” says Chiagouris, author of “The Secret to Getting a Job after College,” (Brand New World Publishing, 2011).

Researchers examined students’ profile pictures, photo albums, status updates, organizations and events. Most people know to put their best face forward for their profile picture; only 22 percent were judged to be off-putting. Yet Chiagouris’s study deemed 47 percent of photo albums inappropriate and an equal percentage of status updates problematic.

The eyebrow-raising didn’t stop there. Thirty-seven percent of students’ invitations and RSVPs were cause for concern, as were 29 percent of their memberships and affiliations.

Students are advised to change their privacy settings (click on Account in the upper right-hand corner) to confirm that no one other than friends can access their full profile

– Dawn Klingensmith