In this day and age, it is critical that we use all of the resources at our disposal to be the most competitive job or scholarship candidate out there. Social media is one of the fastest growing ways to network and build connections that could follow you and prove valuable for the rest of your life. Social media provides us with great opportunity, but is it potentially dangerous?
Roughly 90 percent of job recruiters are using social media as a screening tool. 69 percent say that they have rejected a candidate due to their social media and 68 percent said that they have hired a candidate because of their social media. Think about that for a moment. If you apply for a job today and that employer looked up your Facebook or Twitter account, would what they see attract them to hiring you, or would it make them pass over your application? When employers receive an application today, they don’t typically read over the resume right away. The first thing they do is paste your name into Google and look for your social media pages, your pictures, your videos and possibly news about you. What you have on your social media could make or break your opportunities now and in the future.
So how can we prevent employers from passing over our application due to our social media? Delete our Facebook? No! After talking to employers, you will find that they will also pass over an application if you don’t have any social media. It leads them to assume that you have something to hide. What we can do is make our pages professional. Stop and think before you post or share! If what you are posting could be looked down upon by a possible employer, maybe you shouldn’t post it.
Scholarship committees are also using social media before giving out scholarships. Will your social media cause them to want to give you money? I recommend that you have a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is the digital resume of the future. It is also a professional networking site. It is where you want to make yourself look attractive to employers and schools. Put a professional picture, list all of your accomplishments and activities. Add volunteer experience on and off campus. Talk about your education and plans. These are all things that might draw an employer to want to hire you.
Yuri Wright was a high school senior football superstar. He had a full-ride scholarship to the school of his choice. One day, he decided to post something racially and sexually charged on his Twitter account. With less than 140 characters, Yuri destroyed his life. He was expelled from high school, he lost his scholarship, and the school he wanted to attend said to not bother coming. This is happening all across the nation at high schools and colleges! Students are getting kicked out and losing their scholarships left and right. We MUST use wisdom and good judgement before posting anything on the internet. It could change your life forever.
So, indeed, social media is an amazing tool that we must reach towards in this time of technological advancement. But, it brings with it great danger. Stop and think. Take control of your future.
Take control of your social presence.