Potential employers check applicants’ social media
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 09:03
Sometimes I think my life is measured by what I put on Facebook, what I tweet about, who saw me on LinkedIn or what’s on my dash on Tumblr. Social media has exploded in these past years; it’s everywhere, and has started to play a big role in how we live our lives.
The first I can remember of social media coming into my life was back in the days of MySpace. I don’t remember when it came up, but I can remember having it in high school and trying to choose my top eight friends. Like all sites, there was drama: do I choose my best friend, neighbor or my sister as number one? Should I put my friend from school first or the guy I have a crush on? In those days, I lived my life in fear of my friends coming up to me and asking why they were not on my top eight. Which did happen.
But now no one checks MySpace and it’s all about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites that I probably don’t know about.
When I first meet a person, the first thing I do is find them on Facebook, creep on them and maybe send them a friend request. Then creep on them some more. But now, businesses you’re applying to for jobs start to creep on you and see what you’ve been up to. I know a girl from high school who had an album on her Facebook called “drunk,” and I have a feeling potential employers aren’t going to be too happy when they stumble upon it. Yeah, companies are creepers too. They’ll look through your past photos and statuses.
Then there’s Twitter. The point of Twitter is to give an update in 140 characters or less, which is sometimes a lot more difficult than it sounds. You can either have your Twitter account private, where people have to request to follow you and you approve them, or open, where anyone who has an account can follow you. It’s a neat tool if you want to be selective with who sees what you have to say. I also use Twitter so I can follow my favorite celebrities and keep up with who’s doing what with their life. Have you ever been watching a show, and in one of the lower corners there’s a hashtag with the TV show’s name next to it? TV programs are also starting to get their own accounts and are trying to get their viewers to give them a shout-out on Twitter with the hashtag. Twitter has now gone across to television, and be warned that businesses will also find your Twitter and creep on what you’ve been tweeting.
What we’ve established so far by using Facebook and Twitter is that people looking to hire you will find you on these sites and see what you’ve been doing. It’s not just us anymore, it’s people looking to recruit and hire candidates. But that doesn’t always necessarily have to be a bad thing.
Sometimes, companies hold Twitter or Instagram contests where the winner will be chosen to do something for said company, which could help someone potentially find a job in that market. I know Vanity Fair Agenda had one a few weeks ago on Twitter, where the winner was able to report through their Twitter what was happening at a major event. There’s also a major Raising Cane’s Instagram contest right now where the winner will get free Cane’s for a year.
Not only has social media expanded from just fun, recreational use, it’s grown to giving people opportunities and has even helped some unemployed people find jobs. Look up these Instagram and Twitter contests, be careful what you put online and don’t give away personal information to strangers.
Emily Jensen is a junior public relations major and a staff writer for The Pine Log.