Social media: Should students keep it clean?

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Every 60 seconds, 293,000 statuses are updated on Facebook, 433,000 tweets are sent out and 67,000 photos are uploaded to Instagram according to Qmee, an Internet advertising agency.

Some might see this plethora of content as information overload, while others see it as an opportunity to share themselves with the world. However, are students aware that the world in which they are exposing themselves to includes their future employers?

Jared Meitler, campus engagement coordinator at Career and Employment Services in Holtz Hall, said not all future employers are looking at potential employees’ different social media platforms.

“It’s very much subjective depending on the employer that you’re talking to,” Meitler said. “We hear from some employers that they definitely take a look at social media profiles, but others don’t make it a factor at all.”

Whether or not an employer might be snooping on your social media content, Meitler said your social media platforms should be kept in a way that your grandmother can view it and not be offended.

“I think one of the biggest things to caution students with is that it’s better safe than sorry,” Meitler said. “So rather than take the chance of it being an employer that is going to check and you have something out there that’s not appropriate, we would just recommend that you be safe rather than get yourself … from having a job prospect that could be there if you didn’t have that.”

Molly Cooper, senior in mass communications, does not display her last name on Facebook. However, possible future employers are not the main reason she does this.

“One reason is just a safety thing, I don’t want strangers looking me up if they see my name somewhere,” Cooper said.

According to Cooper, her social network is between her and her friends and she doesn’t have it for a professional use. Even though she said she has nothing to hide from employers, Cooper does monitor her social platforms from what other people have the ability to say publically on it.

“I have the ‘write on my wall’ option blocked, that way other users cannot post or write something inappropriate,” Cooper said.

Cooper said that for the most part, her social media platforms are employee friendly.

“I don’t have any inappropriate pictures out there, but I definitely regret some phrases or cuss words I’ve used on social media in the past when I was younger,” Cooper said.

GTM Sportswear employs a staff of around 900 people and is the fourth largest employer in Manhattan according to the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. Darci Moore, vice president of human resources for GTM, said when it comes to the hiring process, GTM stays away from their potential employee’s social media.

“We do not check their social media pages unless we have reasons to do so,” Moore said. “It is not a policy of ours to check it.”

Moore said GTM gets good employees without taking that extra step and finds that their interview process is successful, so there is no need to check it.

Regardless of whether employers are looking at students’ social media platforms, it’s safe to say it’s better to be safe than sorry. There were 23,229 students enrolled at K-State just last spring – that is a lot of people looking for jobs. If students want to stand out in those thousands of people, it’s important to keep their social media platforms clean and their future employers happy.

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  • Lior Tal

    A simple way to clean facebook account is via RepnUp. It detects text and images that harm reputation.