Users wary of Jobster, Facebook partnership

Even though in his profile picture Jamarius Moten is wearing a shirt and tie under a sweater vest, he still admits he’d have a problem showing his Facebook account to an employer.

With no group affiliations, no profanity and no interests listed, the freshman business administration student from Mobile, Ala., is a rarity of conservativeness on the social networking Web site.

But that may be to his benefit since Facebook announced in a press release Thursday that it will exclusively partner with job seeker site to include job search services with its free membership.

Users from around the country will be able to join Facebook’s career center and search for employment opportunities this spring.

Moten sees this teaming as positive for the student community.

“The option to join the career center would be good for the people who are looking for a job right now,” he said. “Since I’m a freshman, I’m not really interested in it just yet, but it’s not a bad idea for students as a whole.”

Tameka Reese posted her profile on the site last year and said she thinks the new partnership will give students incentive to clean up their acts.

“I think the addition of the career center is a positive move because a lot of the content I feel should not be displayed because it is too personal will be removed,” she said. “It will probably become more business oriented.”

Reese, 30, a senior English literature student from Vero Beach, said if the employers get the power to check people’s profiles, she would not be affected because there is nothing offensive on her page.

But she has seen some things on the site that she thinks would not bode well for future employees.

Reese said the most offensive thing she has ever seen on Facebook was a photo of a young woman in a bra lying on a floor at a party with a crowd ignoring her.

But she said that should not be the basis on which employers hire anyone.

She explained, “I think what someone does in their private life doesn’t affect their performance at work, so it could be a bad thing because employers will be able to discriminate.”

Delores Dean, the director of FAMU’s Career Center, said she would be wary of using the service.

“I would have to ask a lot of questions, some behind-the-scenes questions, like, ‘Who has access to my information?’ before I joined something like this,” Dean said.

But she stresses the importance of FAMU students tapping into their own resources for more reliable service.

“You come in and send your resume through FAMU Career Center’s Web site now,” she said. “We use MonsterTrak because it is confidential and only allowed to give your information to legitimate companies, and they cannot sell your résume.”

But for students who want to cast their net out on the Internet social network, Dean warns about risqué profiles.

“The photos that (students) put up and personal information (are dangerous),” Dean said. “And the address and interests are too. The main things that they put out are usually a bad idea.”

Alexander Harris III, 21, a fourth-year business administration student from Chicago, agrees.

“I think that it’s going to put a lot of individuals at a disadvantage as far as getting a job in the corporate world is concerned,” Harris said. “Individuals post elaborate celebrations and photographic evidence that may hinder them from being hired by various corporations in America.”

Harris said he’s always steered clear of the site because of its incriminating qualities.

“I’ve never had a Facebook or a MySpace profile, and I’m thankful because I was told previously that the companies can research you on these networks before they extend you an offer,” Harris said.

He offered sound advice to potential job seekers.

“As black Americans, we’re already at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing jobs, so I think that students are going to have to be more conscientious of the activities they promote on the Internet.”