Colleges help students put best Web foot forward

Online Identity
Posted at 1:22 PM, Dec 26, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Samantha Grossman wasn't always thrilled with the impression that emerged when people Googled her name.

It wasn't horrible except that some pictures or links that weren't hers would pop up, and sometimes details that might turn off a would-be employer. So before she graduated from Syracuse University last spring, the school provided her with an online tool that allowed her to put her best Web foot forward.

Syracuse, Rochester and Johns Hopkins are among the universities that offer such services to students for free. They realize that ill-considered Web profiles of drunken frat parties or worse can doom graduates, even if the pages are somebody else's with the same name.

Studies show most employers Google prospective hires, and nearly all won't go past the first page of results.