Is Social Media Creating Roadblocks In Your Career?

By Todd Schobel
Published on Linked In Pulse | May 4, 2015

Potential employers and prospective colleges now have the entire Internet at their fingertips. Before they even click on the resume attachment from a prospective hire, they can (and often do) Google the candidate to see what information pops up. A colleague of mine recently told me that he doesn't even look at resumes unless he is impressed with the candidates LinkedIn profile! My how times have changed. A recent survey from CareerBuilder found, "that 51 percent of employers who research job candidates on social media said they've found content that caused them to not hire the candidate1 and those numbers are up from 43 percent the year prior. The growing stats are proof that your social media profile is now par for the course when it comes to hiring and yes, firing.

Recent grads should also take note of the "Big Brother" trend. College admissions departments all across the country say, "digital footprints aren't always clean, so students should maintain a healthy dose of caution, and definitely think before posting."2 Being able to see sports stats and awards won is great, but party pictures and bad grammar in daily posts can lead a college to take a pass on an A+ grad.

What exactly is a digital footprint? Your digital footprint is your online reputation, yearbook, resume, and social calendar all wrapped up in one big Google-worthy bow. It's true what they say, "What happens online, Stays online forever. And you want to make sure college admissions departments, future employers, and current bosses like what they see.

Here's how to keep that digital footprint squeaky clean:

  • Google yourself. (Make it a habit.) See what everyone else is seeing. This will help you manage privacy settings and monitor public websites and social media profiles.
  • Don't post about drugs and alcohol. Keep it professional.
  • Consider changing searchable names. For instance, instead of Todd Schobel I might have a Facebook username like: Todd Schobes or use a nickname. This creates a wider shield of anonymity when being searched across social networks. Friends can find you when YOU share the correct information.
  • Make sure your email address and username are acceptable. No inappropriate references, keep it simple.
  • Delete unused accounts so you can keep track of all of your media. Not using twitter anymore? Lose it.
  • Monitor what you "like"" and "join"". Showcase your participation in great clubs like UNICEF and steer clear of extremist and hate groups.
  • Grammar. Spell it right and speak in complete sentences. College admissions and potential employers alike, don't want to see a representative of their institution posting poor English.
  • Don't over post. If you are posting photos on Instagram every hour, tweeting, and making FB posts, how are you possibly getting any work done? Keep the posts minimal and be your own barrier against your bosses questioning.

You've worked hard to build a great resume on paper; why do you want to ruin it with bad online behavior?Take some social media inventory today and help guarantee that offer!

Resources:

1. http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=6%2f26%2f2014&siteid=cbpr&sc_cmp1=cb_pr829_&id=pr829&ed=12%2f31%2f2014

2. http://press.kaptest.com/press-releases/kaplan-test-prep-survey-more-college-admissions-officers-checking-applicants-digital-trails-but-most-students-unconcerned

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