Companies recruiting on college campuses are definitely evaluating online behavior of potential candidates on networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and video sites like YouTube. Currently, 48.5% of respondents who recruit on college campuses said that they are using more social networks to connect with potential candidates. This is actually up significantly from 2010 when the percentage was almost 14%.
What career professionals are saying
At a recent careers conference in Philadelphia, student online behavior was a major topic of conversation among career center staff and corporate recruiters. One recruiter shared that a negative online persona showed students to be “immature and unprofessional, at best, and does not encourage an employer to visit a college campus.
Students online behavior
I am sure you have heard this before, but it bears repeating — Despite the horror stories of employers pulling back their job offers, many college students continue to jeopardize their future career success, by posting inappropriate content on social networking sites. HBCU college students, like other college students, still think the online videos of friends or themselves in compromising situations are innocent, private expressions. Too many college students still think their online behavior is really without long term ramifications.
When a client tells me they are having difficulties landing a job, an internship or a promotion, one of the first things I do is check out their online behavior. Here are some of the things I see that could create a negative impression.
- complaints about work, while at work
- poor grammar
- no professional presence at all
While social networking has become an important part of our lives, I have to remind college students and graduates that online behavior can really kill a future career. From US congressmen, to public relations professionals and professional athletes, it seems no one is immune from bad online behavior.
The nature of the internet leaves personal indiscretions available for everyone to see long after the act itself.
If you are guilty of creating a negative impression online, now is the time to fix it.
Data source: National Association of Colleges and Employers