Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Posters beware: Future bosses are stalking you

I recently discovered that my 17 year old daughter had her Instagram account public. I'm not sure what the source of my initial alarm was - maternal instinct or fear of receiving phone calls from intrusive family members - but there was a sense of panic that ran through me. 

At her age, my daughter is one year away from becoming a legal adult. That means she's making her way toward an important life change. College recruiters will start searching for her online once they receive her applications, internships may become potential character investigations. It's safe to say that although I was concerned for her safety, what was really bothering me was her future prospects. 

A new study released by Careerbuilder reinforces my concerns. It validates what I was really afraid of, that applicants are being closely scrutinized online - and it's coming at a huge expense. Add to that a report issued by the Wall Street Journal last year that confirmed that, yes, those college recruiters are waiting and watching - or searching I should say. 

So, if you're like my daughter and are brave enough to keep a personal site public, here's what you should know: 

- Candidates will drop applicants if they commit the following offenses: 

      - Posting provocative or racy photos/information. This, my friends, was the top reason that influenced the drop. 
      - Posting information about drug use or binge drinking. 
      - Badmouthing previous employers. 
      - Posting anything that displays bad communication patterns. 
       - Making racist remarks - and they don't care if you were joking or drunk for that matter. 

There's a benefit to the snooping.  Recruiters were able to use social media sites to make the final hiring decision based on these findings: 

        - Candidate's posts showed a level of professionalism. 
        - Candidates involved in many activities appeared interesting. 
        - There was a hint of personality in the luring posts. 
       - Posters who spelled out words and refrained from using acronyms showed solid communication skills. 
       - Candidates received good reviews or feedbacks from followers. 

You can read more about the findings and also learn how to monitor your online reputation at http://cb.com/19RFkhu

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