News We Can Use: Facebook Can Be Risky Business For Those Applying to College

"Princeton could use a guy like Joel"

Twenty-eight years ago, the seminal teenage film “Risky Business” led us to believe that some college recruiters were swayed more by parties and entrepreneurial spirit than academic achievement. However, this week, USA Today told us that today’s admissions people are increasingly turning to Facebook to gauge just how much partying (and other things) a potential student has done before offering them a coveted spot in their institution. In fact, the number of recruiters doing just that to vet potential candidates has quadrupled in the past year alone. Kind of ironic, since the genesis of Facebook itself was a different kind of vettting of co-eds, no?

This is not the image you want to send.

But seriously, this should be a cause for concern for kids and parents alike. We’ve long said that Google is your first resume and that HR professionals are using social media to assess potential candidates as well. Now we know it can also be the key or the barrier to higher education. From typos and grammatical errors to bigger errors in judgment (step away from that bong!), what you put out there will absolutely come back to haunt you. Check out our blog posts about your digital profile and its lasting legacy.

What do you think about recruiters using social media to select their students?  Tell us here or via Facebook or Twitter (@BestPublicist)

 

 

 

 

News To Us: On Our Radar and In Our Readers

They say, “Knowledge is power,” and that’s why we’re so thankful that (in addition trolling of our Google Reader regularly) we now have the fabulous Gennifer Delman — virtual intern/future magazine editor/head of Hofstra’s Ed2010 chapter — helping us identify the top PR/Marketing stories to share on a weekly basis.  Here’s the first of what we hope will be many installments.

See any other headlines/trends you want to share?  Post it in the comments or send it to us at BestPublicist (at) gmail (dot) com.

 

Should the Holiday be Renamed Non-Labor Day?

This Labor Day, there’s not much to celebrate. According to a recent piece on Business Insider, which compiled alarming stats from various sources, there was zero job growth in the past decade — the worst 10 years on record — and two million people have exhausted 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, while another four million will do so by the end of this year. What’s up, America? How is it that the job picture continues to get grimmer and grimmer?

As co-authors of Be Your Own Best Publicist: How to Use PR Techniques to Get Noticed, Hired and Rewarded at Work, we offer career advice to people at all levels through our book, as well as speaking engagements, coaching sessions and workshops, on how to land that dream job or client — or move up in your current position — by making yourself invaluable, unique and indispensable. But when the job market just keeps getting bleaker, how can you focus on the positive? How do you keep your confidence in tact when you’ve been pounding the pavement for months with no end in sight? How do you avoid letting the fear of losing business, staff or — worse — your job stand in the way of your success? In honor of Labor Day, here’s some hopeful advice and wishful thinking that the job market will rebound by this time next year:

1) It’s all in the spin: When you leave a job, lose a job, or can’t find one, think about yourself as self-employed versus unemployed. If you position yourself to the market as a freelancer or independent contractor, you’ll come across as more confident and likely more employable. Even better, rather than just collect unemployment and send out resumes, try to pitch yourself for freelance work — many companies who have had to cut full-time staff must now rely on less expensive outside contractors whose benefits and insurance they don’t have to cover.

2) Demonstrate value: Okay, so we thought we would never experience what we went through in 2009, with budget and job cuts across the board, but unfortunately we’re dealing with a potential double-dip recession. However, if you still have your job, be thankful and, what’s more, make sure you’re showing value to your company so that when they do have to evaluate headcount and performance, you’ll be the one they simply can’t do without.

3) Stay on the circuit: If you’ve been out of work for a while, don’t give up and sit at home wallowing. Even if you are happily employed, you must continue to connect with as many people as possible.  In fact, studies show that 80 percent of senior level jobs are filled with personal connections, so keep in mind that the bigger your circle, the more job leads you’ll get. Go to networking events, schedule informational interviews with folks in your industry, book coffee dates with anyone you think can help you and connect with people on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

4) Don’t get defeated: Even in challenging times, the best people — the ones who make a positive impact and stand out in a unique way — will ultimately get hired and promoted. While this Labor Day may be overshadowed by our high unemployment rate in the U.S., hopefully it will also serve as a catalyst to get Americans back into the workforce. Some of that will be up to the government, but some of it will be up to you and how well you leverage your skills, talents and connections.

How are you staying upbeat in a tough job market? Share with us here, on Facebook or Twitter (@bestpublicist).