Social-Media Oversights Could Cost Grads New Jobs
CREDIT: Shutterstock: alphaspirit
As soon as you leave the office of a prospective employer, chances are she puts your resume aside and turns to Google to find what you've really been up to. And if you haven't taken the time to clean up your Facebook page, Twitter feed and other social media links that routinely show up in a Google search, you could lose a good opportunity.
Sixty percent of graduates are not concerned about their online profiles affecting their ability to secure a job, according to privacy software maker Abine's survey of 500 college grads from schools across the country. But they should be.
"The reality is that your online presence plays an increasingly large role in whether you are considered for a job, and candidates who don’t take that seriously may jeopardize their job searches,” Keith Cline, head of Dissero, an East Coast recruiting firm that specializes in high-tech venture capital companies, told Abine.
The survey revealed several simple tasks that college kids are skipping. An Abine spokeswoman also shared some of the offending posts with TechNewsDaily — under the condition that the commenters remain anonymous.
Nearly 70 percent of kids Google themselves once a year or less, leaving them unaware of what prospective employers will see. Try it for yourself and notice that your social media accounts are at the top of Google search results. One click is all it takes to start reading through a kid's Twitter account. For instance, imagine a prospective employer's response to this:
While 90 percent of the respondents claim they are careful about what they put online, 35 percent have posted comments containing profanity, more than 30 percent have posted comments or pictures that include alcohol and 7 percent have posted content about illegal behavior.
This Facebook example from Abine shows what a turnoff these types of posts can be:
Although many kids are careful themselves and avoid posting inappropriate material, nearly half have not adjusted their Facebook settings to approve photo tags or posts. The result could be damaging pictures that would appear in a Facebook search. [See also: Google's Party Mode May Lead to Hangovers of Regret ]
As for being proactive about finding a job, kids seem content with using the same tool — a paper resume — as their parents did a generation ago. More than half of the new graduates don't have a LinkedIn account, and among those who do, only 38 percent use their real names.
To help kids assess their "hireability," based on their online habits, Abine has posted a seven-question quiz long with tips to improve online presence.