According to recent surveys, 70% of surveyed US HR employees said they rejected a candidate because of their Internet behavior. In most cases, these "Internet behaviors" refer to the publication of inappropriate photos and content on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Aside from not getting the job, there are countless cases of employees posting content about their crappy bosses, or wanting a colleague to end up dead in the office. Whether you're looking for work or you like the benefits of hiring, how should you deal with social networking so it does not ruin your life?
If you were an employer, you would do it!
Do not point your fingers and call the employers "evil" to visit us on the Internet. The fact is, we live in a different age than 15 years ago. Information about anything or anyone is available around the clock for anyone who wants to know, including your employer. Can you blame them? Suppose you are hiring a new employee and interviewing three applicants. You go home, jump on the computer and see what your friends have posted on Facebook. The temptation is irresistible. All you have to do is enter the names and the presto of the applicants. They immediately get an overview of how these people actually live, as opposed to the way they presented themselves during the interview. And here is the thing. During the interview all three candidates were very competent and all three very professional. (It's not that difficult to be professional and responsible for a 30-minute interview). After looking at each of their profiles on Facebook, you quickly realize that two of the applicants appear to be celebrating excessively and say very inappropriate things while one of the applicants has a private profile. How will this affect your hiring decision?
How to deal with social networking sites so you do not get confused
If you're still in college and you're not looking for any real jobs, be sure to post all your drunken photos and scandalous comments. Who cares? However, the moment you start looking for a real job or even an internship, you must begin to take responsibility for your contributions.
If you think you may have online content that could jeopardize your attitude, you must first make all your online profiles private, especially Facebook. Facebook is currently dominating the social networking scene with a whopping 300 million users. There's a good chance your potential employers will be smart enough to dig up your dirt on Facebook. Once you have found a new job, never disclose anything negative about the company you work for, your colleagues, or your supervisor. A negative comment is enough to change the minds of your employees and supervisors, which could definitely affect your career.
On the other hand, your online presence can also help your career. If you actively engage with charities or charitable organizations or blog periodically about content relevant to your career, you must take the necessary steps to make these activities as visible and accessible as possible.