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)

 

 

 

 

The Good, The Bad and the Scary: How Your Digital Profile Impacts Your Job


The Web still continues to be, in most minds, the Wild West (the WWW, if you will). Constantly changing, filled with danger and opportunity, you never know where the next shot will be fired and who will be the next sheriff in town. So, with that in mind, we share with you the WWW’s impact on your job search — Spaghetti Western-style: The Good, The Bad and the Scary:


THE GOOD: Getting Information and Access Is Easier Than Ever.

A lot has been said about companies using social media to identify and screen potential employees, particularly the newly minted set.  But now, the proverbial mouse is in the other hand, according to a recent survey – nearly 28 percent of college students plan to seek employment using LinkedIn. Slightly more than seven percent plan to use Facebook, a platform formerly seen as primarily social.

It’s that blurring of the lines that is actually putting the soon-to-graduate set in the driver’s seat; instead of waiting around for that recruiter to reach out, they’re using digital tools to identify and, ideally, land their ultimate gig. For them, the wealth of online information helps them cull through options to identify companies that align with their values and goals. All is fair game, and a strong digital presence is one way for employers to attract the best and brightest to their ranks.

THE BAD: The Internet never forgets.

Another survey — this one from the Society of Human Resource Management — shows that more companies are recruiting via social networking. Not surprising that almost 100 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn.  What might be news is that Facebook is the next most utilized Social Media site (58%), followed by Twitter (42%).

In addition to being careful about what you post, it’s a good practice to give pause before giving access. In other words, think twice about to whom and to which sites you give access to your Facebook profile. You are who you “hang” out with — one and offline; make sure you know the friends who have access to your profiles and that everyone you are connected to is carefully considering what they post to your wall or the photos you’re tagged in.

THE SCARY: Like it or Not, Everyone is A “Public Figure”

As we’ve said before – Google is your first resume. In Be Your Own Best Publicist, we caution that everything you say (or post) can and will be used against you. Run a red light? Cameras are there to catch it. Fall in a fountain accidentally? Someone is filming on a flip cam and uploading to YouTube before you dry off. In this day and age, when walking on the street can inadvertently turn you into an overnight celebrity, everything — did we say “everything”? — is on the record and privacy has basically gone out the window.

Unfortunately, unlike the of-the-moment celebrity or sports star, that white hot spotlight doesn’t translate into a lucrative endorsement deal or the ability to borrow that $1 million pair of Harry Winston earrings for your company’s annual awards ceremony.

 

So remember, your digital profile is your lasting legacy.  Pay attention to your posts, your posse and your privacy settings to stay on the right track.  Giddyup – and good luck!

What other things worry you about the impact of the digital realm?  Share with us here, on Facebook or on Twitter.