LinkedIn or out?

How social media can affect your life path.

By Chandler Lutz

It is no secret that social media has changed the way society connects. It has the power to bring people together from all over the world. It provides instant information on any subject and it can influence the course of your career. According to Human Resource Specialist, Marissa Ferrante, social media is now often a recruiter’s first impression of the candidate. Many college students and graduates are feeling the weight on their shoulders from past social media posts that may be deemed unprofessional. Are you willing to let a post on a social media platform affect the outcome of your life and future in your dream occupation?

Generation X has taken social media by storm. Generation X includes professionals currently in their mid-30’s, college students seeking jobs and high school students going off to college. This generation has experienced the boom of social media but has also seen the repercussions of it. Initially they were introduced to social media as a way to keep in touch with friends and to share their personal opinions, feelings, and images with those they let into their networks. Unbeknownst to them, this information would become public information to any employer via their ‘internet footprint.’

Timothy Latimer (’17) just landed an internship with a national insurance agency for the summer. He believes that social media played a major role in his job acceptance. He made sure to keep his LinkedIn account up-to-date and as detailed as possible. LinkedIn has over 70 million users who use the platform as a place to seek employment and to raise funds. Latimer knows that LinkedIn helped him land the internship because the recruiter had viewed his profile prior to their first meeting.  Although it was not all easy, he did take the time to ‘clean’ up his personal platforms.

“When applying for jobs, I went through my social media platforms and cleaned up my profiles.

I know everyone says that nothing is actually ‘erased’ from the internet, but I figured I could make my profiles more professional and appealing than they previously were. I wish I would have realized when I was younger how essential it is to have a spotless, yet powerful presence online.” –Timothy Latimer (’17)

Ten years ago the thought of social media platforms controlling our professional lives was unheard of. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter did not become popular until mid-2000. Now, the world has had to adapt to the new player in the game that has changed the entire employment process. Social media has created a constant job recruiting process. Users can be viewed by prospective employers at any minute of the day without even applying.

As a recent graduate herself, Marissa Ferrante has learned many tips that can help other recent graduates land their dream job and impress recruiters. Ferrante has an extensive career in Human Resources and hires many entry-level professionals. She says that she almost always looks through a potential candidate’s social media profiles before their first meeting. This is a way for her to see if the candidate is well-rounded and if they have the qualities that would be beneficial to the company. She even recalls not hiring a candidate because of their inconsistency from resume to social media.

“I had set up an interview with a perspective candidate. Before they came to meet me I pulled up their LinkedIn profile. I noticed that their profile was not up-to-date with their resume. This immediately raised a red flag for me. I was utterly confused because I thought I was meeting someone with certain qualifications and then looking them up gave me a different prospective. All in all, you need to always keep your profile updated because you never know who is looking,” says Marissa Ferrante.

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 64% of employers admit to screening candidates with the help of social media. 34% of them have discovered content while screening that forced them to not hire those candidates. In 2016, it is almost vital for everyone from celebrities, students, salespersons, journalists and business moguls to create an online presence. Social media can be a great tool if it is used effectively and efficiently. Thinking of Twitter as a platform to retweet news stories interesting to you or to post your favorite inspirational quotes can help bring you to the next level.  Posting about your depressing breakup and what you had for lunch can do just the opposite. Ferrante recommends to always ask yourself ‘If I were in the shoes of the employer, would I hire myself based solely on my social media platforms?’ She also suggests to update your profiles monthly and always strive to be different. She believes that a candidate is more marketable for job opportunities when they stand out and can advertise themselves through their blogs and pictures. As stated by award-winning author and expert on personal branding, Dan Schwbel, “your first impression isn’t made with a firm handshake—it’s with a Google search.”

Welcome to the generation of social media.

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Published 4/26/16- http://www.hawkhillnews.com/article/2016/04/linked-in-or-out

 

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