What Your Facebook Account Is Telling A Potential Employer

With the explosion of online social networking over the past five years, the importance of maintaining a clean and respectable online image has never been more important.  With the click of a mouse, friends, family, employers can find dozens of pages of information about almost anyone on the planet.  From Facebook to Myspace, Twitter to Flickr, people’s lives are constantly being broadcast across the net for all the world to see.  

So, how can this me a problem for you?  Did you ever think it was possible that people, possibly employers, were typing your name into Google?  Stories of companies creating fake Facebook accounts to learn more about potential applicants is certainly not unheard of and probably more common than many of us think.  Are you pleased with what the internet says about YOU?  With the majority of college students having at least one social networking account, the possibility of an incriminating photo “popping” up is very, very likely.  

While you may think it’s harmless to post pictures from your last sorority mixer, images of drinking, PDA and immature behavior can all be deemed as a reason to move on to the next candidate.  We tell all of our students to act as a filter for the photos that appear on Facebook.  Don’t upload inappropriate images and “untag” those that you don’t want to be connected to.  If you’re adamant about keeping your pictures online, try and fix the security settings on your account to limit access to your profile to only your close personal friends.  Don’t accept friend requests from people that you don’t know and be responsible when writing your Bio information and status updates. 

At Beyond Graduation, we tell our clients to regularly “Google” themselves and constantly monitor their online presence.  If you come across something that is unflattering or personally damaging, contact the individual and request that the information be taken down.  If they don’t agree, there are many services online that will help clean up your online image for you.  

Whether it is fair or not for companies to be monitoring employees online, the fact of the matter is that it happens.  Students, especially, need to be aware that they are being critiqued and judged based on how they display themselves online.  Your reputation is the most important thing that you have and you shouldn’t allow it to be put into question simply because of a photo, video or comment.  Social networking is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but always remember to be responsible and present yourself in a way that would make your mother proud.


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