Social media as route to work

Online actions can make or break odds of landing employment.

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Employers state the reasons they rejected job applicants for their behavior on social media sites. Graphic courtesy of Forbes.com. 

I’m sure we’ve all experienced it. You’re taking a picture at a party, and there’s always someone who makes sure there isn’t any alcohol or suggestive containers in the picture. Or maybe that person is you.

Either way, whether it may seem uncool or not, it’s for the best.

We post everything on social media these days. Our Facebooks, Twitters and Instagrams are timelines of our lives — where we’ve been, what we’ve been doing and who we’ve been doing it with. But have you ever thought ahead to life outside of college? To the real world, where we need to get a real and grown up job?

Since social media has become such a big part of our lives, it’s one of the places employers look when checking out potential employees.

According to Forbes.com, the amount of employers that check potential employees out online is about 37 percent. This translates to approximately two-fifths of companies that look on your social media sites when they consider you for hire.

No matter how much fun you have in college or how many parties you go to, it’s never a good idea to put pictures of your drunken stupors, vulgar comments or derogatory statements on your social sites. It could definitely come back to bite you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having a good time and enjoying our youth.

We’re at college, and this is the perfect time to make memories. Go to parties. Meet new people. Take chances. Try new things.

But, it’s good to keep in mind what the future might hold and how you want people to view you down the road. If you someday want a job that is professional and influential, don’t let what you post on social media be the reason you don’t get it.

This shouldn’t scare anyone. On the contrary, we can actually use our immersion in the social media world to heighten our chances of landing that dream job once we leave the comforting embraces of college. If you know employers are using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn as part of their hiring processes, why not build yourself up on them to be ready when your future boss comes creeping?

I’m not trying to tell you to make your Facebook page into your resume, or fill your Twitter feed with nothing but stock market updates or anything. All I’m saying is there are little things we can do to make us look more appealing to employers on our social media sites.

First and foremost is making sure you are viewed as a respectable person. This includes all the obvious behaviors such as not talking about illegal drugs, but it also involves things a little less obvious.

Degrading someone or even being outwardly aggressive with extreme political views can rub people the wrong way if they don’t see qualities they like in an employee.

Another benefit to social media is networking. We can get into contact with just about anyone through these sites, which means we can get in tune with hiring companies. Becoming well-versed with what they do or what they stand for can go a long way. Simply liking or following companies or products they promote can start giving you a positive image.

As students in college, we’re stuck in a crossroads. We are always being connected to social media, and sometimes it can hinder us. But if we are smart about it, we can use it to our advantage.

It’s all a part of growing up and thinking about what kind of life you want to lead in the future.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].

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