If you recently graduated from college, odds are you have a profile page on Facebook, MySpace or another of the many social networking sites out there. If you’re looking for your first job or any really, it pays to take a look and see if you can’t delete some of the unnecessary mentions of partying or other questionable behavior. Here’s why:
1) Those Spring Break Photos Aren’t Helping
We all know that a great week in Mexico can do wonders for a college senior’s wellbeing, providing enough libations and activities to put most of the previous semester out of sight and out of mind.
Unfortunately, those shots of you with the margaritas can raise serious red flags to anyone who might be looking to offer you a position. Even if you are of legal age at the time the photos were taken, school districts and government agencies have put employees on administrative leave because of their weekend and vacation choices.
2) Employers Want to See That You’re a Well-Rounded Person
There’s a positive side to making a full Facebook profile and it comes from listing hobbies, or having photos of you doing volunteer work. Whether it’s tutoring less affluent students at your local high school, or helping out at an animal shelter, your profile can offer an employer insight into the kind of person you are outside of work in a way that you can’t always express in a resume or a cover letter.
3) Searches Turn Up More Than You Think About Your Past
The problem with LinkedIn, Myspace and any other site that you may find yourself on is that they are never as private as you’d like to think they are. A human resources investigator may find notes from Facebook by searching for your name and school. Even if you set your privacy settings to just friends, they may show up in a search engine result. More importantly, you may also show up in your friends’ pages.
4) It Helps Friends Point You Out to Prospective Employers
You may have friends who have had better luck in their job search than you have, or are currently working in the field you want to. Unless you give each one a copy of your resume, they won’t be able to show a prospective boss much about your skills and qualifications. If you put your work history on Facebook, it makes it much easier for them to talk about you.
5) You’re Not in College Anymore
The image that you portray by putting on your best suit or nicest dress for interviews is one of the steps in growing up. By taking a close look at your social media profiles, you’re not erasing your past but you are choosing to take a mature attitude to start your career. You don’t need to be a fan of pages of illicit substances anymore, or groups that no longer fit your goals.
by John Sylo