Social networking affects job search

By Staff Writer
April 30, 2009

A new generation has sparked a controversial attempt to live their lives online through social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Blogging about personal information and/or posting contentious photographs online has employers taking major steps to take a closer look at applicants.

It is important for both employers and applicants to monitor online profiles and social online accounts. A study was conducted on a campus of 46 graduating seniors. The research investigated the opinions and attitudes of graduating seniors and their thoughts about managing online profiles, crowded with personal and social information, while applying for jobs post-graduation.

National Public Radio found from a survey they conducted that “one in five company managers checked out job applicants on Facebook or other social networking sites. And one-third of them found content that led them to reject a candidate.”

A survey given by found that, “One turnoff for potential employers is pictures of the applicants drinking or using drugs.”

Graduating seniors here at Cabrini and other local colleges, seemed unaware of how much their online profiles could really impact their future employment.

Out of 46 graduating seniors, 32 of those students have photos of themselves drinking and partying online. Seventeen of those students also said that their online profile would impact their application results positively.

“I honestly believe that if you’re not in college anymore it’s inappropriate to have any photos of yourself drinking and playing beer-pong online. It would only make you come off as immature and irresponsible to any employer,” Tim Harner, senior history and political science major, said.

Seventeen percent of graduating seniors are not monitoring the security options on their online accounts, meaning that anyone at anytime can view a student’s photos, personal information or even videos of themselves.

According to an article in The New York Times, “many companies that recruit on college campuses have been using search engines like Google and Yahoo to conduct background checks on seniors looking for their first job. However, college career counselors and other experts say some recruiters are looking up applicants on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Xanga and Friendster, where college students often post risqué photographs and provocative comments about drinking, recreational drug use and sexual exploits in what some mistakenly believe is relative privacy.”

Companies are now becoming more aware of the benefits of online background searching.

“Now companies can gain access to the information in several ways. Employees who are recent graduates often retain their college e-mail addresses, which enables them to see pages. Sometimes, too, companies ask college students working as interns to perform online background checks,” Patricia Rose, director of career services at the University of Pennsylvania, said.

With a new generation comes a whole new application process. Now that computers and the Internet are such a big part of peoples’ everyday lives, performing online background checks on applicants has now skyrocketed.

It is evident that companies are ready to drop any applicant who is openly drinking and/or doing drugs in photos online.

So seniors, be conscious of the information posted on public online forums.

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