As employers increasingly use social media as part of their job screening process, job seekers are responding by changing their social networking sites to present a more professional image. A survey of recent college graduates looking for entry-level positions found that more than one-third of had changed or planned to change the information on their personal websites and/or on their Facebook and/or MySpace pages.
MySpace, with more than 95 million members, has become the most popular social networking site in the world, and as a result, is popular with employers looking for information on job candidates.
While some people feel that employers using such sites is a violation of the job seeker’s privacy, the information is public. As a result, it could hurt you in your job search, or even keep you from getting a job. People need to realize that personal information posted on a social media site is easily accessible, say career counselors. They need to use common sense and ask whether what is on the Web would be acceptable on a résumé.
Job seekers need to update their Web pages to show the image they want to project, and if they don’t want certain information to be seen by employers, they should not have it on the Internet. For some, reworking the Web page has led to new opportunities. One person who was job searching was contacted by a recruiter who had seen her name on a job board and had then looked at her website. Her site helped her make the job connection.
In the survey, about 35 percent of first-time job seekers said they had changed their Web presence or planned to. About 40 percent did not, and about 25 percent said they did not use Facebook or MySpace.
First-time job seekers need to be aware of the image they are putting out on the Internet, according to career counselors. They should stay away from anything that might turn off a recruiter who looks at the site. Pictures of a recent party or social gathering might not be the best thing to have on the site. Rather, job seekers should use their site to help them stand out and to make a good first impression.
If you’re just out of college — or will be soon — bring your résumé to Winston Resources. We can help you craft an off- and online presence, as well as present your skills and background to many of NYC’s best employers. Contact one of our recruiters today.