Google-Stalking Job Candidates: Tempting but Risky

October 03, 2014 / Phil Lesch

The Chronicle of Higher Education
October 3rd, 2014

With the academic-hiring season under way, some search-committee members will turn to the Internet to conduct a little due diligence on potential future colleagues. In short, they’re going to Google them.

Official job applications—the carefully crafted curriculum vitae, idealistic teaching statements, glowing letters of reference—are meant to represent candidates in the best, most professional light. An online search, meanwhile, might ferret out a piece of interesting information that didn’t make the application packet or give a glimpse of how candidates portray themselves out in the (virtual) world.

For the most part, faculty members find it perfectly natural to check out that public persona, thinking that "anything that is publicly available on the Internet is fair game," says Robert D. Sprague, an associate professor of business law at the University of Wyoming.

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