Ask the Pros: Do you look me up online when I apply for a job?

Ask the Pros: Do you look me up online when I apply for a job?
To help prepare you for the real world, our Ask the Pros series is here to help answer some of your most common questions about interviewing, job-hunting and working in the world of publication and media art and photo departments.

Got a question you want answered? Send it to us at spdstudentoutreach@gmail.com and we'll put it to our experts! A varying panel of professionals will give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work.

And if you're a working professional yourself, we'd love to hear your opinion too ... don't hesitate to add it in our comments or email us to be on one of our panels.

Ever wonder if your interviewer has looked you up on Facebook? ...



QUESTION:
When I apply for an internship or job, do you look to see what you can find about me online? Does it affect your opinion of me as an applicant?

PRO: Jenn McManus - Deputy Art Director, Brides
I have never Googled an intern applicant, but I think you can never be too careful with the internet. I would err on the side of caution and keep your Facebook profile private and watch what you blog or tweet about. You can't erase first opinions if an art director has taken the time to look you up online.

PRO: Jason Lancaster - Senior Director of Design, ESPN the Magazine
I don't, but human resources here definitely does (ESPN is a Disney company).  

PRO: Sarah Garcea - Deputy Art Director, Inc. Magazine
I look at websites but not Facebook and social things. I think your site/work will speak for you. But you must have a portfolio site and/or blog of your work!

PRO: Iris Johnson - Art Director, 20/20 magazine
No, I don't believe in making judgements based on what I find online about an applicant. I make my decisions based on how a portfolio looks and how a candidate interviews. Still, when it comes to social media and how you present yourself, I would err on the side of caution, since you never know who will be looking and what opinions they may form. 

PRO: Soni Khatri - Designer, Sunset Magazine
I usually Google your name to see if a portfolio pops up so I can see more work than just the PDF portfolio you sent along with your résumé. I don't look on social networking sites, except LinkedIn, because I don't think your personal life is any of my business, just your professional one. I wouldn't want anyone stalking me on Facebook! 

PRO: Andrea Dunham - Design Director, PEOPLE magazine
Truth is, at least in the not-so-distant past, no, I did not jump online to look you up if I liked your work. But now that you bring it up, I just may start. The way you present yourself in a job interview should line up with your ethics online. I'm 100% positive I shouldn't hire a person whose Twitter handle is @Chronic420. Doesn't mean you can't "friend" me, if that's the case. 

PRO: R. Scott Wells - Associate Art Director, Popular Mechanics
I may do a Google search just to see if anything crazy pops up, but personally I wouldn't go out of my way to find someone's Facebook page -- but that doesn't mean that other people won't! It's a good idea to keep your Facebook privacy settings at their highest levels for people who you are not already friends with. 




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