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Internet image important to employers

In recent years, social media has become central to the lives of many students. Some students record their day in posts and pictures and memorialize them through social media. This development in technology has impacted students in every aspect of their lives, including in the professional realm.

“The web is not as private as you think it is,” said Chrystal Stanley, professional and career development and academic achievement coordinator. “If you don’t want an employer to see it, don’t put it out there for the world to view.”

Students have often been warned about the dangers of social media when applying for internships, jobs and graduate schools. Many potential employers and college admissions officers type an applicant’s name into Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.

“Employers are starting to pay attention to social media. Many employers are checking the image that you have on the web, so it’s important that the image is one you want the world to see,” Stanley said. “Make sure you know what your image is on the web.”

However, students need to keep track of more than what they specifically post. Students often do not realize that the images and posts that their friends tag them in are part of their social media image.

Students can untag themselves from pictures, increase their privacy settings and delete compromising posts to ensure that their profile is the best possible representation of them. Many students have heard these warnings and take steps to ensure that their image on the web is appropriate.

“I usually just don’t post anything that I’m not comfortable sharing with people, and I also have the maximum security settings. I don’t post things like where I work – I just to try to keep it as private as possible,” said sophomore Katie Ortman. “If I’m comfortable with my family seeing it, I’m OK with others seeing it.”

Students also should not post private, confidential or derogatory information about a job on the web. Current and future employers often look at these types of posts negatively.

In addition to that, athletes also need to be cautious about what they post on the web, because they are expected by Drake to be good representatives of the school.

“I think they just expect that you don’t do anything stupid or make (Drake) University look bad. Athletes should keep their social media appropriate because we represent the school to a lot of people,” said Anie Salgo, a first-year English major. “I’m friends with a lot of adults, people in my church, my family, so if I wouldn’t want them to read it, I don’t post it,”

There are also some ways of using social media as an advantage. LinkedIn is one form of social media designed to facilitate networking for professional purposes. Twitter can also be used to search for jobs. Students need to take advantage of the benefits of using social media and avoid looking unprofessional to future employers.


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