Today many employers and recruiters believe that social media provides a window onto a person's people skills. They look for evidence that a potential applicant is displaying the following attributes when interacting with others on social media
Employers don't hire candidates when they find:
- provocative or inappropriate photographs
- information related to drinking and drug use
- candidate bad-mouthing a co-worker or former place of employment
- poor communication skills
- discriminatory comments
A poor online reputation can affect a student's friendships, relationships and job prospects.
So, students need to be proactive in creating a positive digital identity and reputation across social media.
They need to post content that showcases their knowledge, skills, interests and people skills.
They need to delete unwanted content - if possible.
They need to think before they post - particularly if passionate or emotional or tired.
They need to ask themselves how they may be perceived by others when they join particular groups or 'like' particular jokes.
They need to be comfortable with their privacy settings and understand the difference between the social and the professional.
Otherwise they may never get a return call - and not understand why...
This is a lot to ask of growing teenagers...
How can we as educators help?
One might be tempted to advise not use social media or to make everything private but having no online presence can also be risky: Does this person know how to use social media? Does this person have contemporary technology skills? What are they hiding?
It can also mean missed opportunities when recruiters proactively search online for potential applicants.