Digital Dirt refers to the personal information you include online about yourself. Digital Dirt includes photos, blogs, discussion boards, chat rooms, group memberships, music and links. Digital Dirt may be deemed inappropriate by a recruiter based on their corporate or academic culture.
Access To Your Digital Dirt
Your online information is available to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere around the world. If you've put it online, unprotected, it is viewable.
Where can my Digital Dirt be seen? The majority of recruiters search for information using online search engines, including Google and Yahoo. However, the use of online social networking sites to collect information about candidates is increasing; these sites include Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Blogs.
Who looks for Digital Dirt? Your information is of interest to employment recruiters, law school admissions personnel, graduate school admissions personnel and scholarships/awards selection committees.
How Digital Dirt Affects You
Digital Dirt can cost you an important opportunity. Digital Dirt can keep you from gaining that dream job or admissions to your first-choice law school.
Clean Up Your Digital Dirt!
Google yourself to see what's out there. By conducting a narcisurf (search for your digital dirt), you will be able to view information available to anyone gathering information about you. You may choose to delete or change some of the information you find.
Review each of your social networking accounts, paying special attention to your friends' comments. Are your preferences set to require approval for friends' comments and new friend additions? Can anyone view your profile or is it set to private? Can your account be searched easily by your name?
What should I include and what should I delete? Many of your interests may be very important to you but would be deemed inappropriate by recruiters - it is up to you to decide how important it is to keep and to delete information. Some general topics to avoid include drinking, partying, illegal substances and sexual content. As a rule of thumb, when considering what to include online, ask yourself: Would I want my mother to read this?