THE COLLEGE I APPLIED TO JUST SENT ME A FACEBOOK FRIEND REQUEST!?

…what now?  

In my job as a college recruiter here in Indiana, I am constantly asked about social networking sites and if college recruiters and job recruiters really do look or if that’s a myth. Well, sorry to say guys, but they do.  The use of social networking sites in checking out your interests, background, etc. is growing. It’s not to get you in trouble or make you nervous.  

If you have anything to be worried about in this manner, go take care of it now. (Open it in a new window…so you don’t lose this one…:))  

Don’t worry, I’ll still be here. Make sure you make the necessary adjustments.  

It’s true, now what do you do?

  

But clean it up and make sure anything that you wouldn’t want certain people to see is removed or remain private. Don’t make this kind of information public as anything that can Anything you reveal in any resume or application that conflicts with impressions they might get from this information, it could make you look bad. Additionally it tarnishes your reputation and discredits your character.  

Who’s doing it?

  

…scholarship committees, job recruiters, college recruiters, college admissions reps, sports recruiters, internship coordinators, etc. Many of them perform a search and can often find your name associated with sites like Facebook and MySpace  

What about us?

  

…yes many of you that are reading this are in search of careers, careers assistance, jobs and college. Each of these and some more are areas with which you are inviting yourself open to the general public.  

It’s nice to have a social site for all your friends, family and whoever else to see. Post the pics that you are proud of and use this form of media and technology to your best interest. However, always know that someone might be out there looking, and it could be a matter of a phone call or not.  

Be safer than sorrier…  

I’m not saying it could happen, but I’ve seen and heard stories of college recruiters, scholarship committees and human resource people using social networking to check their potential employees, students or scholarship awards winners.  

  

  

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Consider this two-fold:

1. Keep it as clean and professional as you can.

Whenever you submit an application for college, a job, scholarship, financing, private loans, you are subject to being checked out. But don’t feel like your entire life will be on public notice. Although they are increasing, there is only a certain percentage that is using this form of background/credibility checking.  

Credibility is essential if you want to be where you want to go. The more truthful and credible you are, the higher people regard you and the more opportunities you will have.  

Speaking of which:  

2. Use your social networking capabilities to yours AND their advantage.

Create a page that highlights your abilities, accomplishments, skills, talents, personalities and whatever else you’d like them to know about you. I’ve used this in my presentations in high school classrooms and tell kids to create a really cool page that would attract these types of individuals.  

Be proactive in this manner, instead of reactive. Impress them with this first impression of you. Make them WANT to see you or speak to you or award you

There’s more:

…Just recently I ran across this article “Facebook Cost me My Career!” This is targeted more toward careers and jobs for those job seekers. Written by Chris Perry, Entrepreneur, Generator and Marketer with Careerrocketeer.com.  

Chris Perry, MBA is a Gen Y brand and marketing “generator,” a career search and   personal      branding expert and the founder of Career Rocketeer and Launchpad.  

This article provides some pretty interesting steps in ensuring that your social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and anything else you use, is used in the most constructive way to helping you market yourself in your career.  

Your Success is My Success,  

Keith Lipke

  

  Keith Lipke is a careers and college recruiter, coach, mentor and blogger at     The Hope Chest. His passion is to educate, inspire, and give hope to young people who need it upon their search for the right career and college.

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