Social Media Websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter have revolutionized the way in which people keep in contact with old friends and sometimes even make new friends. The capabilities of these websites are just about end-less. The sharing of videos, pictures, poems, web links, events, ideas, and so much more is at the fingertips of all who are approved for an account. For those engaging in the enjoyments of these websites, the caution to be mindful of your personal content is rising continuously. The advice is even more so geared towards those looking to enter into the professional world. According to a very recent CareerBuilder.com study featured in the New York Times article More Employers Use Social Networks to Check out Applicants, nearly 50 percent of employers browse through an applicant’s social network pages as a screening method. While some may declare that their Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter pages were created exclusively for social purposes and have nothing to do with their professional capabilities, some employers have a different opinion. The CareerBuilder.com survey also disclosed that virtually 40 percent of employers decided not to offer an applicant a position based on what they’d viewed on that persons social media sites.
Now being aware of this, what do you do? Should you deactivate all of your social media accounts while doing a job search? Of course not! Countless employers actually like to see that your technology and social media savvy. Yet there are precautions you may want to consider:
- First, update your privacy setting so that your content is only viewable to those you desire.
- Clean up your pictures and verbiage; you can be social and professional at the same time.
- Never post degrading or disrespectful messages, statuses, or notes about your current or previous places of employment or co-workers.
- Finally, discuss your career field from time to time; it may actually impress a prospective employer.