How a party picture can ruin your life and career prospects
By Kati Fitzpatrick
Sharing photos on Facebook of wild spring break adventures may give your friends first- rate laughs, but future employer’s second thoughts.
After weeks of class, studying and tests, spring break arrives just after midterms for most college students.
Putting school on hold for a whole week, students find new ways to fill their usually occupied time. For some that means hibernating under the sheets to refuel for the rest of the semester, while others find their niche in more popular places such as Austin, South Padre or Port Aransas.
“What happens in South Padre stays in South Padre,” said Najee Thomas, first year student at TJC.
Some students have the notion that it’s a “rite of passage” to celebrate spring break with wild nights and once in a life time experiences.
The soon “epic stories” often consist of alcohol, illegal substances and lack of judgment. And while some are prepared for the morning after hangover, they fail to perceive the headache they have accumulated for the rest of their lives.
While in high school and sometimes college, students participating in extracurricular activities may be required to sign a social media contract to help protect the organization and schools reputation.
“We check their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter to make sure that they aren’t posting anything against our social media contract, so that the program doesn’t get a bad name or a bad name for our school,” said Tyler Junior College’s Cheer Coach Ryan Harrigan.
Since students may no longer be involved in an organization, they may carry the false idea that what they do or post can no longer result in consequences.
However social media has now become a staple in many companies’ background checks prior to employment.
“Be careful of the photos you are posting online from Spring Break, don’t have any showing any alcohol or crazy parties or profanity, that sort of thing because employers will look at that closely and it could determine whether you get hired or not, “ said Kimberly Harden TJC career services staff aid.
Harden is in charge of online job database, resumes, cover letters and career assessment for students and faculty at TJC.
“Recruiters use social media to help figure out who you are, the same way you should be going online and learning about the company,” said a jobipedia.org expert, who works as a campus recruiter at a large consulting company.
Jobipedia.org, a free career advice website, has hiring officials from many of America’s leading employers that answer questions from first time job seekers.
The advice given helps new applicants learn more about interviewing, resumes, professional conduct and other facts of the working world.
In an article released on March 21, jobipedia.org stressed the effect social media can have on future job opportunities and brings to light a new way to use social media as a positive contribution to landing a job.
“Just as a company thinks about how to market themselves via their own website, think about your social media presence as your own personal brand,” said a consulting company recruiter on jobipedia.org.
A personal brand consists of characteristics people associate with a person; hardworking, loyal, well-liked, lazy, rude, etc.
The images and text a person sends out in the world define them just as much as their actions and work ethic.
Students have to decide if that “epic story” is worth sharing online because that photo just might be how they are forever remembered. While it may seem like innocent fun at the time, poor decisions can end with a lifetime of consequences.
To read more about career advice from leading employers in America visit jobipedia.org where you can ask questions of your own or call the career services office at 903-510-2490. Walk-ins are also welcome, the office is located inside the Center for Student Life and Involvement Office on the second floor of the Rogers Student Center.