Employers Scour Social Media

Gabriella Lengyel, Reporter

Social media networks are becoming an efficient way for students to find job opportunities.

“Sometimes you might not realize it at the time, but some of the folks you meet from networking opportunities might be able to help you out down the road,” Web Content Coordinator Steve Filipiak said.

Social networks allows job seekers to make connections with others who share their field and enable them to form relationships that could lead to potential job opportunities.

Businesses have made it a priority to search applicants on the web as social media has evolved to become a part of everyday human communication.

LinkedIn, for example, is touted as the most popular network for professional use. Workers  used it to build professional online profiles that can help boost opportunities, according to Filipiak.

“Older generations just getting into social media don’t really get ramifications where college students today understand and get how important it is for future employers to keep profiles clean,” Electronic Communications Coordinator Lauren Smith said.

The Insalaco Center for Career Development  (ICCD) is proactively helping students professional online presences.

The Guaranteed Placement Program (GPP) holds workshops to help with job searching, assembling resumes and preparing for interviews, but while the Guaranteed Placement program, a popular option for students who hope to land a job after graduation, doesn’t offer an entire workshop on social profiles elements are highlighted in other workshops and during one-to-one sessions.

“Using social media could be a very positive thing if done the right way,” said ICCD Director Bernie Rushmer.

Smith, Filipiak and Rushmer all recommend Google personal social media accounts and names used online as well.

“It’s always good to see what others are going to see when searching for your name,” Smith said.

“I actually Googled myself once and my name came up in a blog and I didn’t even know it. Somebody else had been writing a blog about Misericordia,” Rushmer said. “Fortunately, it was positive, but it was out there for anyone who looked up my name and could access that information.”

Rushmer always recommends preparation for response if something comes up when Google searched by recruiter.

“Good strategy is to follow up with evidence that you’ve grown professional and personally,” Rushmer said.

Google offers a lot of options for helping protect and promote social profiles in a positive light. Google Alerts helps find information connected to social network accounts.

“Google Alerts tells you whenever there is a mention of your name somewhere on the web and what content associated with you is being put out there,” Filipiak said. “It’s useful and good to be aware of.”

Most content found on the web is never fully deleted or removed.

“Watch what you post, once it is out there, it is out there, exposed to someone and it could come back and affect you,” Smith said.

A proactive way of keeping online profiles professional is to clean them up.

Recently a free website has come to surface, called SimpleWash, formerly known as FaceWash. It is a service used to clean up Facebook and Twitter accounts.

On Facebook the program looks for inappropriate keywords, in wall posts, tagged photos, liked links, liked photos, status updates, and liked pages. On Twitter it files through feed, hashtags and posted links.

“Manage security settings because not only do you need to be concerned with the content you put on, but what other people associate you with,” Smith said.

Smith has her tagged photos setting to others needing her approval before her name is posted with that photo.

Along with photos, Smith and Filipiak recommend within personal profile to watch content in photos.

“Any photos associated with alcoholics products or consumption, you are better off deleting them or untagging yourself,” Smith said.

Language is also key part of communication.

“Avoid using explicit language. Think of it as if posting something, and not mind an employer seeing, especially on something like a blog,” Rushmer said.

Don’t complain about bad experiences with past employers or another company.

“Every experience you have had, good or bad is going to give you things you will be able to build on and learn from,” Filipiak said.

Other companies will associate negative behavior with the content present on the profile page, and could result in missing out in job opportunities or internships.

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Cleaning Up Profile Checklist:

Google yourself

Create LinkedIn account

Sign up for Google Alerts

Keep it professional

Report/ Flag negative content your associated with

Watch use OF explicit language AND photo content

Manage/adjust security settings

Appropriate profile photo

Don’t complain about bad job experiences

Watch photo content

Keep it professional

Nodify friends job searching

Check facebook and twitter through SimpleWash