The Perils of Social Media

Alex Willard takes a study break to scroll though social media. Photo by Kenneth Rawlings.
Alex Willard takes a study break to scroll though social media. Photo by Kenneth Rawlings.

Almost every college student is active on some form of social media today. Whether that is Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, many people are putting personal information out there for the world to see.

In the current job market, more and more employers are checking potential employees out on social media before hiring them. A recent study by Jobvite, a company that provides applicant tracking software, showed that 92 percent of companies use and look at social media networks during their recruiting process for new employees.

While there are professional sites, like LinkedIn, which are meant for networking and job searching, employers are checking other sites that may contain unprofessional, personal photos, videos and beliefs.

While college should be a fun time, students need to remember that potential employers might see pictures from parties that could affect their hiring potential once they graduate.

Some college students are inviting employers to look at their personal social media sites by using them to search for jobs.

If there is something that you would not want an employer to see, take it down or set it to private, if on Facebook. There are many ways to be active on social media but still maintain a smart and professional image.

A good rule to follow when posting is if you would not want your grandmother to see what you are posting, then do not post it. Employers might even be a little less understanding than your grandmother.

If you are going to use your personal social media accounts to aid you in the job search, make sure that you use common sense and proofread your posts before they go live for the world to see.

Employers are not only going to look at what you post, but also the quality of the posts you create.

Another tip, courtesy of the Maryville College Career Center, is to avoid posting personal pictures onto your LinkedIn profile, which should be strictly professional.

Personal photos from a trip to the beach are perfectly fine to be posted onto Facebook, Instagram, etc. However, they are not meant for LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn should look a lot like your resume and nothing like your Twitter timeline.

Employers, contrary to what might be rumored, are not evil. They are going to understand that college students are not quite graduates yet and still enjoy fun.

Have fun while in college, but be smart about what you post to social media. You never know who is going to see it. Remember, once it is out on the Internet, it is pretty out there forever.

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