With graduation quickly approaching and the hunt for a job in full swing, it might be time for departing seniors to graduate their Facebook profiles before potential employers get to it.
“A lot of employers check out social networking sites, looking for negatives,” said Dr. Sigman Splichal, journalism program director.
According to Splichal, universities often look up applicants’ Facebook profiles before admitting them, so it stands to reason that potential employers would do the same before hiring a job candidate.
In the current job market, where a larger pool of graduates will be competing for the same jobs, Facebook profiles and other networking sites could be the deciding factor between two very close candidates.
“It certainly could be a deal breaker,” Splichal said.
Web sites like fastweb.com, an online resource that matches high school and college students with scholarships and internships, recommend cleaning up your Facebook before applying to a job or internship.
That’s what junior Michael Gullo did last year before applying to the Glenn Miller Orchestra, a group formed in 1956 that performs on an average of 300 dates a year.
“I knew they were from the 50s,” Gullo said. “So I put up a professional head shot as my profile picture and took off all the party pics.”
Gullo, a studio music jazz voice major, also deleted inside joke comments from his wall.
Clearing your Facebook of all the party pictures, however, is not the only thing a job candidate needs to do in order to make their profile attractive to potential employers.
For example, if one enjoys listening to The Beatles or has a favorite sporting team, it should be included on a professional Facebook profile, fastweb.com says. Filling out the “Education and Work” section under the info tab can give employers a first glimpse into your previous work and doing the same for the interests section can help the employers form a fuller picture of who the candidate is as a person.
Also according to fastweb.com, if your potential employer is logging on to get the dirt, hit them with what makes you an asset before they can get to the pictures from last weekend’s night out at a club.
Junior Mark Oates created a network of a dozen or so friends who can see the pictures he gets tagged on.
“No one else can [see them],” Oates said. “If you’re not my friend, you can only see my profile picture.”
Despite how private a profile, a good rule of thumb, according to Splichal, is to refrain from putting something on your profile that you wouldn’t want your parents to see.
-Delete or untag incriminating pictures
-Select level-headed profile pic
-Fill out interests section with sincere hobbies
-Fill out work and education information comprehensively
Lila Albizu may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.