Social media becomes tool for employment
Social media, in addition to the usual background search, is increasingly referenced when gathering more information during the individual screenings for potential employment, organization admission and other opportunities.
Many students use social media as a way to keep in contact with peers and co-workers and to express thoughts and feelings.
A person’s digital footprint — comprised of posts, photos, etc. — is unique to each user, allowing them to create a distinctive online identity and interact with others.
Communication sciences and disorders junior Maegan Mickool said she is conscious when posting on social media because it reflects on the kind of person you are.
Tech-savvy job seekers are not only deliberate about the credentials and information they include on a résumé but are also mindful of the information that they post on their personal sites.
Sports administration senior Shane Ros explained how he uses social media as a tool.
“I use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WordPress,” Ros said. “I use my Facebook and Instagram as a tool to keep up with old friends, while I use my Twitter and WordPress as an outlet for my writing and to promote it.”
People use social media to appear more attractive to potential employers or organizations. However, someone’s digital footprint can be detrimental to their potential opportunities when not used consciously.
“It is smart for employers to check social media because you can find out a lot about someone’s character and life away from their workplace,” Ros said. “I am very aware of this and try not to post any self-incriminating posts or pictures on social media.”
Forbes said that sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ allow employers to get a glimpse of an individual’s personal life outside the confines of a résumé, cover letter or interview. It also covers ground including inappropriate photos, evidence of drinking or drug use, bad-mouthing of previous employers and discriminatory comments.
Honors College faculty member Jesse Rainbow said he generally stresses two things when advising about social media.
“First, don’t say anything online that you don’t want to be a part of your professional record. If you are using the perceived privacy of social media to indulge in negative or unprofessional behavior, you need to think not only about what image you are presenting to the world, but also about what kind of person you want to be,” Rainbow said.
“Second, get started early on professional networks because it takes time to build up connections in your industry or profession. Don’t wait until you go onto the job market to begin establishing your network.”
Individuals can use social media as a tool to network with others and to present information that adds character and uniqueness.
When posting on social media, it is important to be aware of how easily information can be accessed and how it can be beneficial or detrimental.