Can I have a Facebook please?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by ILoveMyCello, May 5, 2009.

  1. ILoveMyCello

    ILoveMyCello Companion

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    I have a question. Is having a FRIENDS-ONLY Facebook or Myspace make me less of an attractive candidate for employment? I've heard many people tell me to get rid of them, but tons of teachers in my sub district have them!!

    Also, are potential employers checking my credit score? My mom swears they do, and I don't think they would.

    Thanks
     
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  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Wow - I think you have to sign something to allow people to check your credit scores.

    Facebook - touchy touchy subject - NEA says we shouldn't have them, my local union says we shouldn't have them, and my admin strongly discourages us from having them.

    I can say that in my last round on the hiring committee, we did have one teacher casually mention should be search for their facebook. We all kinda laughed and I really can't say that somewhere along the line, someone didn't look for their facebook.

    I really don't know the answer to this question????
     
  4. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Some counties do check your credit score. I had a friend who couldn't get hired in one district because the credit was bad.
     
  5. melissa803

    melissa803 Comrade

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    I applied to run a program at a community college and before the interview I had to sign something to say they could check my credit score. I looked it up afterwards because I was caught off guard by it and evidently it's becoming common. I haven't heard of public schools doing it yet.

    Just one more thing to worry about!
     
  6. ILoveMyCello

    ILoveMyCello Companion

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    Oh gosh...then I might be doomed. Too many mistakes in college. Wow.
     
  7. Quiggs

    Quiggs Rookie

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    I have a facebook and a myspace. Both of them are private (friend's only), so I don't see how it would really be a problem.

    I just make sure that I have a nice profile picture and not something crazy.
     
  8. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    If the union recommends against it, then why do they have a page? In the May 2009 issue of NEA today, on page 5 there is an article for facebook and twitter. They say they've got great ways for you to connect with fellow teachers and support professionals on line.
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I have both. Both are set to private.
     
  10. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    I have a Facebook and a MySpace (though I'm working on getting rid of the MySpace). Both pages are completely private, unless you are accepted as a friend. And I usually don't even have a picture of myself as the default - I have a pic of my son, or my dog. So I don't see where that could be a problem??

    I sincerely hope that any district I apply to doesn't check your credit -- DH and I hit a really rough patch last year and I'm waiting on a job to help me straighten out my credit. :(
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I have a facebook page, but my visability is set at the lowest setting. Even "friends of friends" can't see me, and if you try to search for me by my whole name, you'll come up empty handed. I did that on purpose. I've actually really just started using the fb account, even though I've had it for a while. When people started looking for me, they couldn't find me. That's when I remembered that when I set up the account I had it set to the highest privacy settings I could. That said, I don't see a problem with facebook per se, but one would have to be extremely careful with what's posted.
     
  12. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I agree with the others...I have both fb and myspace, but they are set to private. My central admin has said they do search them.

    As for the credit scores...thats just scary!
     
  13. palla

    palla Companion

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    A Dartmouth professor got in trouble over Facebook. She didn't have it set to private, and she posted something about using Wikipedia to get lecture information. She then posted something about how the parents would be upset to find out she uses Wikipedia to get lecture information considering how much they are paying for tuition. She also posted stuff about not caring about the classes and so on.

    It made the Chronical of Higher Education.
     
  14. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Please be aware that setting your profile to private does not guarantee privacy! Any computer-savvy person can get right past the privacy filter!

    If you have a Facebook or MySpace, even if you have your profile set to friends-only or private, I would highly recommend only posting material that you wouldn't mind showing to a potential employer.

    I Love My Cello, if I were you, I would hold on the Facebook page until you have been hired and are secure in a job.
     
  15. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I have a Facebook set to private, and I never post anything I wouldn't announce to the world in a regular conversation. I'm smart enough to know that even though it's "private" it's not really private is some tech savvy person wants to get to it. But as long as I don't say anything inappropriate I see no issue with having it.
     
  16. AFWifeinUtah

    AFWifeinUtah Comrade

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    I have both. They are both set to friends only. If someone could get past them somehow, they wouldn't find anything too exciting anyway. Mostly just pictures of my kids and pets. On myspace I don't even have a picture of me as the default. On Facebook I do.

    To my knowledge you have to sign something saying you allow the person to check your credit scores. I worked in a credit union and in order to be employed there I had to sign a form for them to check their credit. In the last district I worked in they did not check credit. I don't see the point anyway because you are not handling money. Well in some ways we do (book orders, lunch money) but it's such a small amount.

    If you decide to go on myspace or facebook, maybe hold off posting a picture of you until you have a job and don't say anything you would not say in public. I know a teacher at the school I sub at and she talks about her facebook page. Another teacher I know (kindergarten no less) has posted pictures of her drinking and I just wonder how stupid is she to do that. So don't do anything damaging.
     
  17. mego65

    mego65 Comrade

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    First day of my teacher preparation classes our professor told us to put them to private and only have acceptable material on them. So, that's what I do. Private with a nice public pic. I know some people do check it. But, mine was more for my students and parents. I don't want them having too much info. However, I do know that my classroom aide had a public profile and his front pic was him wearing a very short red dress and high heels. I don't think anyone did a search when hiring him, and I know one of my kids have seen it, because one of my older boys asked me why he wears dresses. Moral of the lesson, be professional.
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'm not trying to keep tech savvy people away....I'm trying to keep kids with a bad attitude from doing bad stuff. Besides the fact that my fb page is mostly to keep up with family members across the country, there's nothing there that I wouldn't announce to the world.
     
  19. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I just got facebook. I set it to friends only and only friend people outside of school.

    When you look at my profile, all you can see is who my friends are and that's it. Of course, to even see that, you need a facebook account.
     
  20. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I don't think you should shut down your facebook or myspace---- but maybe edit them. I had some silly pics of bars and parties on mine and they're gone (nothing HORRIBLE of course, but I don't want people even seeing me with a beer in my hand). At my school its completely fine to have a facebook--- many of us actually talk to each other, have water gun fights, and send adult beverages to one another during the school day to be supportive of one another. I would NEVER add one of my students to my profile though.
     
  21. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    With facebook, only friends can see what people write on your wall. So you would have to friend a prospective employer if they wanted to see anything.

    If you write on other people's walls, then friends of that person can see what you wrote.

    The bottom line is that it's nearly impossible for a prospective employer to see what you do on facebook unless you let them.
     
  22. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    I have facebook, but I keep it very G rated and my friends know to do the same.
     
  23. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    If your friends "tag" you in any pictures where you're doing something you wouldn't want your students (or grandparent) to see, simply remove the tag. I've done this a few times to avoid posting something unflattering or unprofessional. Thankfully, I'm too old to do too much.
     
  24. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    You can make it so your friends can see your facebook, but you do not show up at all when someone outside of your friends tries to look you up. They can search your name, but you don't come up at all in the search. Just go into "privacy settings" and select the option to not be listed in the profile search. Hope that helps.
     
  25. ReadytoTeach

    ReadytoTeach Rookie

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    Another thing I've read somewhere about facebook is that you can use it as another way to sell yourself to the hiring committee. You can add things about education to your profile, interests, activities, etc. that really highight your dedication to the profession.
    I've kept facebook and set it to friends only, but just in case I've added stuff about education as well. I have had two job offers already, so I know it doesn't hurt!
     
  26. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Of course you're not trying to keep tech-savvy people away, MMSWM.

    However -- and this is to everyone -- potential employers can hire tech-savvy people to get past the privacy settings. So just as a warning to those who think the privacy setting means they can be less careful about what they post, please know this is not the case!

    Setting your profile to private keeps the average online Facebook user from being able to access your profile (unless you have befriended them), but it does not necessarily keep potential employers from seeing your profile.
     
  27. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    I have a friend who posts pictures of herself and her class constantly on her FB page. I would never do that. I don't think the parents would appreciate pictures of their kids on the internet, even if it is friends only. I had one picture of my class showing the back of their heads and me teaching, but one little one was turned around. I took it off.
     
  28. palla

    palla Companion

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    Honestly, if a district is going to hire someone to break into a facebook account, I don't want to work for them. If they ask me to sign a paper similar to what you sign for release of a credit report, that is fine. But to go behind my back and try to circumvent the privacy settings, no thanks.
     
  29. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Is it just me or does checking credit for employment as a teacher seem a bit intrusive? What if you're going through a rough patch but are trying to make things better? Does having bad credit automatically black list you and mark you as a bad teacher? Yikes.
     
  30. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    When they check your credit they're not looking for perfection. They're looking to see that you don't have a history of extremely bad credit. They want to make sure that you haven't had multiple charge offs, been sued by collections, or otherwise attempted to dodge your financial obligations. A couple of months of slow credit isn't going to hurt you.
     
  31. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Ah ok. Still, I find it an invasion of privacy in some ways. Guess that's just me.:unsure:
     
  32. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    I agree. I think both looking at someone's Facebook profile and looking at their credit history is completely inappropriate. Employers are there to find good candidates for a job, not to play God on Judgment Day.

    Unfortunately though, some jobs get so competitive that it ends up getting to the point of invasion of privacy.
     
  33. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Well said...it is like they are playing God. :mad: I think you hit the nail on the head blindteacher. It's such a friggin employer's market that they can stoop to these levels..which I really find wrong. Not sure I'd even want to work for someone who would do such things......although in some cases we may not even know about it. :crosseyed
     
  34. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    What if that couple of months rough patch has extended to almost a year?
     
  35. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Well, exactly. All the prospective employer will see is a number, and make an immediate judgement on that person. In these tough times with people being out of work, having a rough patch for more than a year is not unlikely. I understand the need to have good credit, I just think it's a bit unfair, and points to the employer's market and how some are taking unfair advantage. IMHO blindteacher said it best, playing God.
     
  36. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I would hope that districts that do this realize that more and more people will have lower scores because of the economy.
     
  37. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    They see more than a number. They see the whole report. They can see the difference between slow payment and non-payment. They're looking only for non-payments to disqualify you (for the most part...I'm sure there are less reasonable employers). They're looking for signs of dishonesty, not financial trouble.

    There are, of course, a few exceptions to this, with banks being the notable one.
     
  38. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    I agree STG.
     
  39. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    I briefly worked as a collections rep years ago. And I too am trying to recover my own credit right now. Sometimes nonpayment has nothing to do with dishonesty....it's a matter of not having the $ to pay. That qualifies as "financial trouble" the last time I checked. I know that communication is big when it comes to creditors. calling them up and letting them know you are trying is better than avoidance. However, some collections agencies are brutal and could care less if you are dead. Anyhow........ Still think it's playing God.
     
  40. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    How is this their business?

    Being hired is not like taking a loan or paying rent. Employers don't need to worry about if you will be able to cough up the money at the end of the moth the way your bank or landlord do. Employers pay you. So I simply do not see how it is any business of theirs.
     
  41. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    If you're a bank, a retailer, or you're hiring somebody to deal with your books, it's very much your business, and that's how the whole credit check thing got started. Employers have been running credit checks for decades. This is nothing new. I do agree that it's a bit of an invasion of privacy for teaching jobs, but still, I don't entirely dissagree with the practice itself. Once again (and as a former hiring manager) employers are looking for patterns of dishonest behavior, NOT a rough spot (even an extended one). The people doing the looking are human. Non-payment or slow payments after years of good payment history is a flag for financial trouble, not a flag to not hire. They're looking for things like accounts opened and NO payments made on those accounts, or other indicators of dishonesty. Oh, and at least as far as we were concerned, medical bills were completely ignored.
     

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