Part of my job here at Lakeside is to look over resumes and schedule interviews for available positions. Even before Lakeside, my previous jobs had similar tasks to some capacity. I didn’t grow up with Facebook, Instagram or even really texting on my cell phone (that came in late high school….am I dating myself here?) but if I did, I think finding gainful employment, getting accepted into college, and even looking for rental homes would’ve been harder.
Think about your social media presence. Is your Facebook profile private? If not, what can the average person see. I strongly suggest you making your Facebook as private as possible. I could write an entire blog post on how hackers gain access to various aspects of your life with your Facebook profile. Now, think about your Facebook profile picture. Is it work appropriate? Say, for example, you are advertising in home child care through Facebook or a childcare website and your profile picture shows you holding a drink or perhaps looking intoxicated. Am I supposed to have the utmost faith in you to watch my children? They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that couldn’t ring truer than in this digital world. The same applies to Instagram or Twitter. What you are posting is out there for the world to see. I repeat, what you are posting is out there for the world to see. Your profiles should be private whenever possible, and your pictures and/or bios should be work appropriate. I always go by the words “Would I be embarrassed if my grandparents saw this”?
If you’re not into social media, are your children? Do you have a child looking for a job or an apartment? How about applying to a college, university or trade school? There are no rules or laws to prevent a potential employer, landlord or admissions representative from looking your child up online and I have news for you; they do. When I look for an applicant, I am looking for someone that embodies our culture. I look for a fit with our entire team and someone who will live our values day in and day out.
When a landlord looks for a tenant, they don’t want someone who has frequent house parties with the potential to damage their property. Beyond the standard background and reference check, they will look to social media.
Colleges and universities are looking for similar values. It’s probably not the main factor or even the deciding factor on whether the potential student gets in, but I will tell you, it is a factor. Admissions officers will look at all social media profiles.
Now think about your overall presence online. Have you ever googled your name? From a business perspective, a potential employer will look for notable articles about you. Your image search will produce any public social media pictures.
In short, protect your name. Keep as much private online as you can and leave some things to mystery. Besides, that’s how we did it not so long ago.