Your Facebook Profile and Future Employers
(Image: Obama warns students about Facebook)
President Obama's speech to American schools this week touched on the need to be careful with what you do with your Facebook account.
When asked for advice on becoming President from a group of 14-15 year old students, Obama replied: “Well, let me give you some very practical tips. First of all, I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later, somewhere in your life,” Obama said.
This is something that we've been talking about at IEGS, especially as university admissions officers are increasingly checking out social media profiles of prospective applicants.
One study by CareerBuilder.com indicates that 45% of employers have used social networking sites to research job candidates and 35% indicated they rejected a candidate based on what they found.
Yes, you can be careful and not do or say anything silly, or not post crazy pictures Facebook. But it's human to use social media for a bit of fun and share things with friends.
So instead of worrying about the not-so-good stuff, why not also include some proactive posts that counter balance
For example, if you post a picture of your graduation from Int. Engelska Gymnasiet, it should be obvious to you which of the two captions below a prospective employer would appreciate more:
a) "Jeez! My hair looks ridiculous"
b) "A slightly disheveled me holding the Award for Best Science Student the day I graduated IEG"
Or what about:
“Here’s a bunch of my friends hanging out with me celebrating after we raised 10,000 SEK in one day for the local dog shelter.”
"Here’s where I volunteered to work at Stockholm University's Innovations for Peace Conference so that I could attend all the sessions for free. It was so inspiring to hear President Obama speak.”
You don't need to be a spin doctor to do this; and you shouldn't worry if your friends think you've sold out by doing a few posts like this on your Facebook (or other social media) profile.
The Net makes it very easy to check people out as we all know: You do. I do. Employers do it.
Welcome to the real world.