College Grads rethink social networking

Hammond]-Facebook. Twitter. MySpace. Social networking sites have become the popular way to communicate and network. These sites allow large amounts of information to be shared with just about anyone. They might be great for a group of friends, but are not such a good thing for professionals

 Employers are now making their own profiles to look up potential employees. With this tool, they can find information they could never find before.

Debra Gathe, manager of a local bank, said for an employee to post on Facebook that he or she is ready to leave work is a bad reflection on him or her. “The kinds of things you are saying and the kinds of things your friends are saying can be easily looked at,” Gathe said. “You don’t want to set yourself up for a bad situation.

Gathe said pictures and friends’ pictures could make a potential employee look bad. She advised students to delete or block anyone who could be a threat to getting hired. “These are the kinds of things I’m looking for when I look to hire college grads,” she says.

On the other hand, social networking sites, which Gathe compared to a second resume, could benefit job-seekers. “You can turn social networking into a real marketing piece for you as a future employee,” Gathe said.

Jennifer Kennedy, senior business major, said too much information is posted on people’s profiles today. “It is important that we monitor our social media profiles because sometimes we, or even others, post things that aren’t necessarily bad but can be misinterpreted if taken in the wrong context,” Kennedy said.

Many employers and school officials indicate that social networking has caused problems for college graduates in acquiring jobs. Kathleen Jones, also a small business owner in Hammond, says, “It is imperative students understand the weight employers now place on social networking profiles in their hiring decisions.”

Many students may not understand the consequences of posting negative things on their profiles.  Anything posted can be found by anyone. “Negative comments about current or previous employers, friends, family members or faculty are reasons why many candidates are not pursued for hiring,” Jones said. “Such postings reveal negativity in attitude or disposition of the candidate and often reveal a flawed character.”

Students should be aware of the information they allow the public and employers to see. “The most important thing for students to remember is that social networking profiles are an extension of who we are in person,” Jones said. “The goal is not to hide the self but to reveal the self truthfully.”

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