More than seven in ten U.S. employers routinely check out a job applicant’s online postings as part of their vetting of the candidate. Most of the time, those sloppy photos of downing shots in your favorite beach bar that so convulsed your friends are less amusing to those with the power to hire. These days, a carefree online profile costs people jobs.
That was the takeaway message from “Social Media: Friend and/or Foe,” held on Jan. 27 for all first year students as part of the First Year Fridays lecture series instituted in 2011-2012 to benefit students at the Columbus School of Law.
“If you don’t establish your own online reputation, someone else will establish it for you,” said keynote speaker Kashmir Hill (top), a staff writer for Forbes magazine, a former contributor to the legal Web site Above the Law, and a frequent blogger on the subject of smart management of social media.
The 75-minute presentation, supplemented with videos and slides, provided a broad overview of the most widely used social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other sites. Speakers discussed how to monitor one’s online profile, set security and privacy settings on personal computers and other devices, and fielded questions of judgment about what can safely be posted.
Speakers emphasized repeatedly that what goes out on the Internet stays out in cyberspace forever, so beware.
“You never know how this can come back to haunt you in the job search,” warned Hill.
The program was introduced and moderated by Mara Duffy (above left) associate dean for external and student affairs. Pete Sanderson-Kilchenstein (above right) a technical specialist with the law school’s Office of Computer Services, was the second speaker on the program and provided students with a broad overview of how to effectively manage the ever-changing tools of social media.