One day you are moving into your freshman dorm at college and hugging your parents goodbye and the next you’re walking through the arch on graduation day saying farewell once again.
Your parents may not be ready to see you move on, but every parent would like to believe that if their kids have learned anything in college, they have learned to take responsibility for the way they represent themselves.
Since one of our largest forms of personal expression today is through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, it is important that college students make smart choices about the information and images they choose to share. Besides a resume, the image students choose to display online is an important method for employers to find out more about potential employees.
A large number of college students would probably agree that the tweets they have posted or the albums they put up on Facebook may not be 100 percent appropriate for prospective companies to view. However, others appear confident.
“I think that my social media is up to par because I make sure I just put pictures of myself up of me at family functions and acceptable social events with my organization,” sophomore Nikki Evangelista said.
For those thinking that your social media needs a bit of an interior cleanse, try filtering out the photos and language that might get you in trouble along the way and making room for the most professional information possible. For example, include photos that may have been taken at volunteer events or even tweeting about an organization you have a passion for.
“I’d say it’s more important than people would typically think to clean up your social media sites, specifically Facebook,” sophomore Angel Branco said. “A bunch of employers are going to find you drinking, doing who knows what else on the Internet. Even though it doesn’t destroy the pictures or videos permanently, it’ll get it off your Facebook page so you look better as a potential employee.”
By using social media to display your image and interests in a positive light, there is a better chance that employers get a good vibe about your character and optimism that will be brought to their workplace.
“I think that employers sometimes are just desperate for people to work certain time slots and not necessarily thinking about what is best for the company and what it represents,” sophomore Caitlin Bloomer said. “The people who they choose to work for them should be selected as carefully as choosing their company’s logo design.”
Since LinkedIn is becoming more of a popular site for potential employees to post their resumes with over 160 million users, according to businessweek.com, it is becoming vital that these individuals, especially college students, clear up their profiles.
According to Roxanne Hori, a contributor of Businessweek.com, “If I’m interviewing a candidate for a job, I check out the LinkedIn profile to see what is posted. Does your profile match your resume? Have you spent the time ensuring that your online profile is rich in information that will give the reader a better impression of you and your experiences?”
According to a recent study led by the SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management), “An estimated one-third of all human resources managers use some type of social media network to recruit and research potential employees.” (source: flexjobs.com) One-third. That is not a statistic to be tampered with, and neither is your future. Your future may be in your hands, but it can also be in what lies behind your screen.