Is your private life really private?
From Facebook to Twitter to FourSquare to Pinterest, most young people juggle multiple social media accounts. But with so many virtual persona to manage, keeping track of every photograph or status update can be a challenge — and that unflattering Saturday night mirror shot can easily get lost in the chaos of your archived photos.
It’s easy to dismiss silly photographs and uncouth status updates as harmless fun. Yet, according to various national surveys, failing to effectively monitor your online persona can lead to devastating consequences.
With so many employers and recruiters using Facebook and other social media profiles to evaluate candidates for employment, scrutinizing your social media presence is now more important than ever.
DO: KNOW THE STATISTICS
Many college students have heard variations on a familiar horror story: an otherwise-qualified applicant selects an ill-advised photograph for his Facebook profile picture — only to find himself rejected from a dream job due to pre-employment social media screening.
These stories aren’t just mere anecdotes — they’re regular occurrences, statistics say. According to a paper published in the International Review of Workplace Innovation, students on the job hunt “should be aware that their future employers are closely observing their Facebook profiles in search of a window into their personality.”
An April survey conducted by the Harris Interactive marketing firm revealed that 37% of hiring managers use social media to get a glimpse into the lives of job applicants for pre-screening purposes. A majority of those managers, the survey found, use Facebook to gather data.
DO: KNOW THE STANDARDS FOR YOUR CHOSEN FIELD
Some employers use social media more centrally in the recruitment process than others.
Applicants for jobs pertaining to social media, communications or marketing are often asked to list the websites of their online profiles for potential employers. Job-seekers might need to share anything from tweets to entries from personal blogs. For some positions, applicants might even be required to reveal their Klout score — a numerical ranking that measures online influence across multiple media platforms.
Whether you’re a social media junkie or just an occasional user, if you’re looking to snag a top summer internship or post-graduation job, cleaning up your social media presence is an easy and relatively painless first step.
DO: USE COMMON SENSE
In a recent USA TODAY article, Alice Truong listed five online privacy tools that help users control their virtual persona.
Though online privacy applications have value, they can’t replace the ultimate safeguard of online privacy protection: common sense.
Posts mentioning illegal or other unwise activity — including underage drinking and excessive drunkenness — should be deleted without second thought.
Remember, though: in your job search, social media can be a force for good, too.
Websites like LinkedIn allow users to build online resumes that make them more, not less, attractive to employers.
And a Twitter account that broadcasts articles about your chosen profession can signal to employers your passion for a subject or career.
Powered by Facebook Comments