While many students may enjoy having profiles on multiple social media websites, using them can have steep consequences.
Ferris Coordinator of Career and Volunteer Centers’ Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services (CLACS) Michele Albright feels that social media impacts job offers.
“Many recruiters are surfing social media sites to prospect candidates for current positions. If prospects have presented themselves in what the employer considers an unfavorable way or not in tune with the employer’s values, the person is unlikely to receive contact about the opportunity,” Albright said.
Potential employers may even go beyond the obvious websites like Facebook to research job applicants. A profile on a dating website or a YouTube channel with inappropriate content can become an issue as well.
“Employers will also Google search names and look into your friends lists and activities on social media to create a profile of your character. Everything a person puts on the web is prone to bias and personal judgment in regards to hiring decisions and best fit for the organization,” Albright said.
D i f fe rent social media websites seem to have different societal expectations regarding content. Where something may be deemed inappropriate for Facebook, it may be viewed as okay for Twitter or Instagram.
“I feel like Facebook is for family, professors and old friends. Twitter is more celebrity and your own opinion. Snapchat is for sharing your life with other people and looking into other people’s lives,” Ferris public relations junior Kamry Morris said.
This idea was echoed by Ferris pre-pharmacy junior Mario Lei.
“I use Facebook occasionally—that’s mainly for professional stuff and my registered student organizations. I also use Snapchat and Instagram, mainly just for socializing with my friends,” Lei said.
No matter the app of choice, students may want to be extra careful and deeply consider the implications behind a potential post.
“I sometimes see some of my friends post when they go to parties and they drink. Sometimes they’re underage, so that kind of stuff is concerning,” Lei said.
Ferris accounting junior Alexandra Kelley said political or controversial posts can have an impact on an applicant’s image.
“I think that definitely racist or super controversial posts that are posted just to start a fight— like a lot of people on my Facebook post stuff knowing that it’s going to start a fight—and I think that’s something employers would look at negatively,” Kelley said.
Ultimately, being aware of the surroundings in a photo or having a friend double-check that a status update sounds appropriate can be key in achieving a balance of appropriateness and self-expression.
“It’s okay to post a picture at a party but just make sure there’s no alcohol bottles or smoke in the air, anything like that. Just being conscious but still being free as an individual,” Morris said.
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