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Before job hunting, colleges help graduates clean up their online profiles

Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio

With ubiquitous social media and searches available to every potential employer, job-seekers need to think about more than just their resume. Colleges and universities are helping soon-to-be graduates manage their online profiles and put their best face forward.

One of the first things an employer does is to Google a new applicant. Schools are helping students make sure what those prospective employers see looks good.

Rachel Crowl is the New Media and website coordinator at Lawrence University in Appleton. She began offering free professional grade headshots to students this year. So far she's done 170 of them.

 “A nice professional photo of yourself is like digital currency these days, with all of these social networks and places you can be linked to and found out,” Crowl said. “So just in the sense of owning what that Google search is going to look like, taking a little responsibility for, 'when they type in my name, then what's going to pop up?' You don't want the keg stand picture the first thing that pops up.”

Lawrence senior Taylor Tomaszewski is graduating with an economics major. She began privatizing or “cleaning up” some social network sites a while ago and took advantage of the head-shot service.

“I need one of those because in the business world this is very, very important,” Tomaszewski said. “You want to make sure when somebody searches you don't have some crazy high school picture or your senior yearbook photo. It's like, no this is me, this is currently who I am and I'm ready to enter the professional world.”

Besides Lawrence, public universities and technical colleges now offer online marketing help to students.

For more Wisconsin Public Radio news, tune in to KUWS-FM 91.3 or go to the website www.wpr.org.

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