According to a survey taken by CareerBuilder in June of more than 2,600 hiring managers, 45% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates.
These results shouldn’t come as a surprise to any recent grad, among the first generation of young professionals to grow up with online net
working. It’s an excellent way to keep track of who you know. But there’s a catch – social media, while an excellent networking tool, creates a level of transparency that can potentially damage your reputation and cut your employment or job search short.
This whole ‘things NOT to put on Facebook’ idea is hardly new, but for recent graduates used to the free-wheeling party atmosphere of college, cleaning up online is an important and often overlooked step in successfully assimilating into the ‘working world’.
Take for instance Kimberly Swann, the UK teen fired from her job this past spring for posting a series of comments expressing her apparent dissatisfaction with her employer on Facebook. And she’s not the only one caught the victim of an increasingly transparent social sphere. Check out Kevin, a stylish intern whose Halloween ‘personal day’ landed him a front-and-center photo in a company email:
So what can you do to make sure you’re not the next Kimberly or Kevin?
The number one reason cited by employers that caused them not to hire candidates researched online was provocative or inappropriate photographs or information. With all its photo and comment sharing capabilities, Facebook is prime real estate for all kinds of damaging material.
Twitter is an entirely different beast than sites like Facebook or MySpace. Sure, only 7% of employers cited following potential job applicants as a method of screening – but the danger is still out there even if no one but your closest friends are following you. Twitter is an openly searchable, fast-paced and often mobile online environment used for quick status updates that describe where you are or what you’re thinking at the time of the post. The nature of twitter lends itself to a few very different rules than Facebook.
A great example of ‘Things Your Boss Does Not Need to Know’:
Here at Doostang we actually think this is an excellent idea, but depending on your industry, your employer may not be as easily amused.
It will be interesting to see the repercussions of the internet age in years to come when all of our social media-savvy college kids and young professionals grow up and become hot shot CEO’s and hiring managers. Like we said, the internet never forgets, so get your stuff together now and hopefully prevent any of those embarrassing remarks or photos from showing up later in life when the stakes are a lot higher.
Good luck, and TGIF!
The @doostang Team