Whether we get out this December or in May, most of us are pretty close to graduating, which means it’s about time for the coveted career search. While the post-graduation job search can be brutal, especially in this economic climate where it seems many doors are firmly shut, we seem to have other factors leaning against us as well in the social media that we use. We’ve been constantly told that businesses use Facebook, MySpace, etc. in their hiring research and that we should make sure we remove inappropriate content if we have any.
However, in his blog post, Recruiters shouldn’t care about that Facebook picture of your beer pong game in college, Shel Holtz contends that this practice is becoming a litany.
“College is for two things: Getting an education and being stupid.” Holtz says. “The only difference between college when I went and college today is that there was no Facebook, or anything remotely like it, during my days at university.”
While I agree that the large majority of people have done what others would consider “stupid things,” especially in a college setting, it seems the response from the “more experienced” generation is generally, “Well my stupid acts weren’t caught on film and broadcast for anyone to see.”
I guess you can’t really argue with that either (as much as you might want to).
There has got to be some sort of compromise in the middle. I think we can all agree that people do stupid things, especially in college. It’s where many people get to know themselves better, figure out their own limits, likes and dislikes. So my argument would be: don’t reject a possible new hire with a great resume simply because there was a picture or two on his Facebook of him with a beer in his hand, but rather reject the one that has a whole YouTube channel dedicated to his alter ego that decides to find out how many beer cans he can crush on his forehead when he’s drunk.
I believe there is a fine line. You can’t prosecute people for making minor mistakes in college, because the important thing is that we learn from them and grow up. I would hope that we ALL have made mistakes, or else what kind of college experience did you have?
However, you CAN prosecute people for continually making horrible decisions or hiding who they really are upfront just so they can land a job. Also, in defense of the opposition to Holtz’s point, I will say that you can’t argue with the fact that alter ego boy from above might not be the best candidate for certain jobs, and you might not know about that side of him simply from a job interview.
What do you all think? Is it frustrating that businesses can and do troll social media applications to figure out how job candidates conduct themselves after hours? Or is this a breech of your privacy? Is it even a privacy issue if you have consciously decide to share these antics with your friends online? Where is the line drawn? Where do you stand on the argument of “to post or not to post” on your own personal slice of cyberspace?