Justine Sacco was once the senior director of communications for an international holding company. While waiting to board a flight to Africa for a business trip, she logged on to Twitter.
“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Sacco posted. Her tweet quickly went viral, and by the time she landed in Africa, she already had been fired.
With graduation right around the corner, students are starting to apply for jobs within their degree fields. While making high grades and obtaining ample experience is always important, students should also be aware of maintaining a respectful Web presence.
As young adults we often want to have fun and make the most of our college experience, but we sometimes don’t realize the importance of having a clean social media account. The Internet is a powerful medium that has the potential to spread a powerful message, or end a person’s career all in the click of a single button. More than 80 percent of Americans have at least one social media profile and spend at least 5½ hours per day on social media, according to hrdive.com.
The Career Development Center on campus helps students who are either about to graduate or who are already seeking employment. When students are ready to enter the workforce they help prepare them for a multitude of scenarios that could await them. One piece of advice they always tell students is to try and keep a clean social media presence.
Employers nowadays make it a habit to check potential employees’ social media accounts to ensure the safety of the company’s name. According to budbilanich.com, employers can take a lot from what you post on social media. Pictures give insight into your life and what goes on in it. When future bosses see pictures of you at the beach getting drunk with your best friends, that can convey a really poor image. A person’s social media account doesn’t just tell someone what they do on the weekends, it gives an accurate insight into their character, and ability to function in an work environment.
Vulgar language, rants and inappropriate pictures say way more about a person than what they can exaggerate on a job application. Students should make an effort to clean up their social media pages and try to conduct themselves in a serious manner. Privacy settings and being careful about what you post can help increase your odds of getting your dream job. Also, cleaning up your profile by deleting old pictures and videos can be a lifesaver in the long run of your career.
While living in the moment is seen as a good thing, remember that what you post online stays there forever. All the hard work and studying that you have done should not go down the drain for one naughty picture, right?