Social Networking: Are you Prepared?

April 20, 2009

Fact: There are over 14,000 profiles in the Facebook CofC Network.

Fact: MySpace is one of the most trafficked websites on the Internet.

Fact: Social Networking websites like Facebook and MySpace can be used against you during the hiring process.

There is one common denominator between college students world wide (though there are a few of you who will say Not Me!). That is social networking. I do not mean going out to parties or clubs and hanging out with friends. Social networking in today’s world means connecting socially through the Internet on “social network” websites. You talk with friends, leave ‘presents,’ post pictures and your views of the world around you all without leaving your computer. But have you thought about what those messages or pictures are saying about you? For example, the pictures of you dancing on top of a table at a local bar may not be the best image for a potential employer to see.

More and more employers are becoming connected to potential employees in the various social networking websites. They do ‘research’ on employees and may not hire you based on the impression they receive. But it does not end once you get the job. Just because employers are paying you, does not mean they are not checking up on you. Pictures or comments that are deemed unprofessional by your employer or potential employer can harm you.

Before the job search process (and after you get the job) think of a few simple things to combat a negative impression your employer may have toward you.

  • Make sure all of the pictures of you (both ones you post and others post) do not feature you being too unprofessional.
  • Do a Google search of yourself to see what appears. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
  • If you do have a Facebook or MySpace account you may want to set the privacy settings higher so only friends can view it.

For more tips and suggestions go to our Social Networking page. What are some other ways you can combat negative impressions based on your social networking pages? Do you have any horror stories about employers and these sites? Do you think employers should use social networking sites to check on present or future employees?

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