Status Update: I Didn’t Get the Job. FML.

22 Nov

TAMPA, Fla. – Social networking is a growing trend amongst college students, and checking up on the social network pages of applicants is a growing trend amongst employers.

College students use social networking sites for keeping in touch with friends, learning what is going on in the community, keeping up with the party scene and other purposes. Accessing social networking sites has become simpler than ever because Internet access is now available on a multitude of platforms.

Students enjoy having the ability to personalize their pages on sites like Facebook.com and MySpace.com by uploading pictures, posting status updates and commenting on their friends’ pages. These types of customizations are what have employers delving into these social networks to find out more about potential and/or current employees.

Roxanne Watson, an assistant professor at USF’s School of Mass Communications, says, “I think it is important to bear in mind that companies will look for social media in the same way they look for other online sources as a way of finding out about you…I think it’s important to think about what your persona is on social media.”

According to a report done by Christina Cuesta of FoxNews.com, some companies believe the personal life of an applicant, as broadcasted on the Internet, can reflect that person’s moral philosophy.

Professor Watson says, “[Social networking] can have some negative effects if [companies] see you doing things that don’t line up with what the company wants to be about.”

According to National Public Radio (NPR), CareerBuilder.com conducted a survey of employers who utilize social networking sites when considering an applicant. As stated on the article posted on NPR’s website, “The survey by CareerBuilder.com found that one turnoff for potential employers is pictures of the applicants drinking or using drugs.”

Megan Dunkle, a former student of Stetson University, has had personal experience with the negative effects social networking can have on employment. She was fired from a company she had been with for a year over a status update on her Facebook page.

Dunkle says, “The spa I was employed with was going through downsizing and had to cut back on my hours. I reacted negatively by posting a disgruntled status update on my Facebook page.” Dunkle was fired on the spot after a co-worker saw the status update and showed their employer.

Professor Watson urges college students to think before they post online. It is important for college students, as well as everyone, to broadcast who they are in a professional and respectable manner.

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