Social Media: The double edged sword when it comes to employment

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Social media has taken the world by storm as it allows us to stay in touch with loved ones across the globe, share media and thoughts on any given subject. However our digital footprint is a lot more than just cat videos and pictures of our dinner. Our digital footprint is a way for employers to see if you truly are the candidate that they are searching for. Hiring managers are looking you up on social media far before you even come in for your interview, so will you give a “true candidate” vibe or a “reject pile” vibe.

 

One of the better examples of using social media to positive impact is that of Lindsay Blackwell who created a social media campaign directed towards Lisa Rudgers (hiring manager) to get the position of Social Media Director at the University of Michigan. The campaign got her an interview 8 hours later and had over 40,000 unique visitors from over a 100 countries around the globe. “Dear Lisa Rudgers” earned coverage from  Fox Detroit, The Detroit News & AnnArbor.com. She ultimately didn’t get the position but because of her creativity it led to other job offers.

The other side of the coin is teacher Ashley Payne who was forced to resign after her principal saw photos of her drinking on Facebook, saying it “promoted alcohol use”. People don’t realize that their social media sites can stop them from finding their dream job. So here are some tips to make sure your digital footprint is one to be proud of. First off, don’t complain about your job or internship, this is not the place to vent. Employers want to know that you can handle yourself professionally and that you won’t badmouth them whenever you get a chance. Next, make sure to delete any inappropriate pictures or comments (for obvious reasons). Rule of thumb is if you have to think about it, then delete it. Also it is very important to keep grammer in mind whenever you write anything, as this will serve as mini writing samples. Lastly make sure to Google yourself! As silly as this sounds you want to know what’s out there about you, as this is what employers will be looking at also. Weather we like it or not, companies have access to our profiles so do your due diligence and make sure your social media portrays you correctly.

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