Immature Social Pages Threaten Chances of Employment For Many Younger Workers
As everyone has heard or read by now, social networking has taken on a particular prominence in the screening of new job applicants. A few startups and even established companies have done away with the traditional application process altogether, preferring instead to simply access certain social sites to screen potential applicants for work. The power of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to sway hiring decisions has grown exponentially in recent years, and will continue to grow in the years to come. So moderating your own activities online is more important than ever in order to maintain a positive, professional image.
Many companies view social pages as reflections of the individual’s brand. To a limited degree, you can judge a person’s life and who they are by their activities online. Discovering what is important to them, what their intellectual pursuits are, and which interesting personality quirks they exhibit can be uncovered with a simple cursory review of posts. This information is also more reliable, as it is more difficult to lie about who you truly are under these circumstances than with a simple resume and application form. So it isn’t any wonder why so many companies are now demanding to see your Facebook account.
These companies expect to see something that reflects the activities of a mature, motivated adult instead of grown child. Having a page which looks exactly like it did during your college days is a sure way to ruin potential opportunities. You should instead begin a process of creating a more mature account immediately, deleting potentially embarrassing photos and sordid messages, as well as deleting or editing posts which are politically or socially insensitive.
While it may seem unfair to go to such drastic measures, one should remember that hiring managers are always looking for excuses to drop an applicant from consideration. So you don’t want to give them an easy one by allowing them access to your page filled with images of drunken debauchery and politically incorrect rants. If you feel the need to express yourself in such ways online, consider a blog or a secondary account under a pseudonym. Under your real name, however, you should only post things which you wouldn’t mind a potential boss knowing about or seeing firsthand.
In particular, younger workers who’ve grown up without expectations of privacy have a harder time understanding these requirements. Many of them simply don’t see how their personal lives should influence a job application. Well, in many instances, it shouldn’t. Life is unfair, however. And companies today have leeway to choose among a wide range of applicants for positions. In many instances, there are dozens or more applicants for one entry level job. As such, they can be nit picky while you cannot. Since this is the case, it is much easier to simply adapt to the way of doing things instead of fighting against them. It isn’t so much the coward’s way out, as the more mature, prudent response. So clean up your social profiles before it is too late. And remember that nothing is ever truly anonymous on the internet.