Social Media and College Students Having Fun Can Equal Unemployment with Employers
I don't know a whole lot about social media but I do know that it can directly effect College Students and their career plans. I work in a career services office and I have a Facebook and Twitter account, but only because the students that work for me thought I should have one so they created these accounts for me. They also taught me how to use the social media and still on occasion I have to ask one of them to help me with a problem or ask how to do something. These tools are second nature to college students which is great, however they have to think twice about what they choose to put on these sites. I have quite a few "friends" on Facebook for someone who doesn't know a lot about it. The reason being is most of my friends are students who I meet while working at the college, which has lead to seeing many many pictures, quotes, and wall posts that I wished I had never seen!
Do employers look at a candidate's Facebook page?
We all know an employer is not supposed to look into a candidates personal life, since that would be illegal, but do they anyway? Well the answer to that is YES! Some employers defiinitely do look you up on Facebook! This information comes directly from the employer's mouth. The image that a person may portray of themselves on facebook has, on occasion, helped employers make the crucial decision to hire or not to hire. Part of my job is to remind college students to think twice about what they post on facebook because of exactly this. What I don't understand is why many college students don't make their sites private, but instead seem to want to invite the whole world to see how much fun they are having while away at school. Hardly ever do I see pictures of an educational nature. I guess that would make them look smart and interested in academia instead of interested in having fun where pictures on facebook put them in a less then tasteful light. I am not saying that doing fun things in college shouldn't be done, or that pictures shouldn't be taken or shared, just be careful with what is made public, especially on Facebook.
Social Media that WILL help you get Employment!
Have you heard of LinkedIn? If not, and you are searching for a job whether in college or not, you need to know about LinkedIn. It is the professional's Facebook. It is a free social network and can be a very important tool when looking to land your dream job. Ok, well maybe not your dream job. In this economy, you may want to keep your options open because the days of landing your dream job right out of college are unfortunately few and far between. That does not mean that you can't land a really good job with A LOT of networking and LinkedIn can help you do just that!
To use this tool you want to create a very detailed professional profile. This will help connect you to people, organizations and schools. The more ways you can be connected to people the better. Join all affiliations associated with the field that you are pursuing. Follow all companies that you want to work for. Join all educational institutions that you attended. Reach out to college professors, administrators, staff, colleagues and alumni. Very often someone has a friend, or friend of a friend, that could help you link to a person in your field of interest or that works for a specific company that you want to work for. I want to emphasize though that going out and personally networking with people face to face by participating in organizations, committee work, going to career fairs and social networking events, or even by volunteering, is still key to getting the job that you want. However, when those opportunities are not happening you can jump on your computer and connect away!