Posts tagged ‘fired because of social media’

September 28, 2012

Students, young professionals, and social media in the workplace [Infographic]

I work with college students everyday, and we often chat about making the transition from College to career. This includes conversations around finding their first professional job, expectations they have of the employer, and how to manage personal and professional lives. A lot of them talk about wanting to enjoy the work that they do, work for a company they believe in, have the freedom to work from home, and belong to a collaborative team environment where guidance is nearby, but not overbearing.

When we get to discussing the intersection of their social media accounts and their professional careers, they often see it as their “right” to use their own social media accounts at work. The attitude seems to be “if the job gets done, what’s the big deal if I spend 15 minutes on Facebook while having my 10:30 a.m. coffee?” And I would have to agree. If the job gets done, I have no problem with office Facebooking. It’s also quite interesting that when I ask these same students if they would be OK doing some work at  home if they couldn’t get it done in the 9-5 office hours they are paid to be there, they say they would…without hesitation.

The infographic below from OnlineCollegeCourses.com shares some findings that seem to support the anecdotal evidence I’ve seen in the attitudes of college students as they transform into young professionals.

A few statistics jumped out at me:

  • Almost 30% of college students said they value social media freedom and device flexibility over salary
  • 67% of young professionals believe their company’s IT policy needs updating
  • Nearly 70% of the same young professionals believe it is OK to use a company-issued device for both professional and personal matters

Big thanks to davidhallsocialmedia.com reader Muhammad Saleem (@msaleem) for sending me this infographic.
Social Media vs. Salary
Brought to you by: OnlineCollegeCourses.com

August 15, 2012

I challenge you to Google yourself! [Infographic]

A simple Google search to see what results come up when your name is punched into the worlds biggest search engine – It’s just a smart thing to do. Feel free to head over to Google now to do a quick search…I’ll wait…Did you like what you found?

You may be surprised to know that you are not the only one searching for information about you online. It turns out that just about everybody wants to know more about you, and it’s not just your family and friends:

  • 79% of HR recruiters and hiring managers screen job candidates by reviewing online information about them.
  • 86% of hiring managers have told candidates that they were rejected based on what was found online about them.
  • Even 12% of College admissions officers said that posts which include photos of alcohol consumption, illegal activity, and the use of vulgar language have negatively impacted a potential student’s chances in being granted admission.

Sometimes I think that too much of the “Google yourself often” conversation is framed around the fear of having bad things appear online about you. This fear approach may motivate some, but I prefer to remind people of the opportunity angle. Yes, I firmly agree that it’s a good idea to keep your questionable behaviour offline as much as possible, but it’s also good to remember that hiring managers are looking to find out good things about you too…so they can hire you. This infographic from 2011 says that 68% of recruiters have hired a candidate because of what they saw about their potential hire on social media. Some of these reasons were because the candidates profile:

  • Gave a positive impression of their personality and organizational fit
  • Supported their professional qualifications
  • Showed the candidate was creative
  • Showed solid communications skills
  • Demonstrated the candidate’s awards and accolades
  • etc.

Googling yourself isn’t about vanity, egotism, or a sense of self-importance. It’s about ensuring your online presence is an accurate representation of who you are personally and professionally. You wouldn’t submit a resume without proofreading it, so it just makes sense to take a few moments each month to Google yourself and “proofread” the information available about you online. If you don’t like what you see, you can take steps to remove questionable posts/photos and change your online behaviour going forward. It’s better to start now than to wait until you are actively looking for a job.

For some additional facts, stats, and tips to help you find out what the internet is saying about you, check out the infographic below from www.backgroundcheck.org.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This infographic asks you to log out of Google to get “unbiased results”. It is true that this will disconnect the search results from any information Google has stored about your Google Account. But Google also uses third-party cookies that your browser has stored to customize your results as well. To turn off both of these customizations at the same time, all you have to do is add the simple “&pws=0” URL parameter to the end of your search URL, hit enter, and you will see the results most people on the web will see. The URL should then look something like this https://www.google.com/search?q=Your+Name&pws=0. Big thanks to colleague @erichollebone for sharing the URL parameter tip.

The Google Yourself Challenge
From: BackgroundCheck.org

…And, on a lighter note, a final thought on “Googling yourself” from 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy and Tracy Jordan…

May 10, 2012

Do you do “Social Media Spring Cleaning”? Here’s how I’m polishing up my accounts…

Ensuring that my social media profiles are up-to-date is something I think about often, and speaking with other communications professionals, I know that I’m not alone. The trap that I fall into is that I know I have to update my profiles, but I procrastinate, work on more “pressing issues”, and never get around to it. But this year is different. I’ve decided to put an annually-reoccurring event in my calendar titled “Social Media Spring Cleaning” to force myself to take the time I need to make sure all of my information is clean and current. Here’s what I’m suggesting:

Start by visiting all of the social media profiles you have signed up for. First, you want to get an idea of what you signed up for, and second, you want to see how they look. Read all of the content to make sure that you’re pleased with it. Identify what needs to be changed/updated. Start with the networks you use most often, then start looking for other ones that are less active or you just plain forgot about.

Update your profiles. Make sure your information is consistent. Be sure to add new information from the year past. This is also a good time to take a peak back at what you’ve been posting to see what you have been up to the past few months. You may feel the need to remove some postings that you made that are no longer relevant or are completely off topic.

Delete any old accounts. Consider deleting (or disabling) any accounts that you haven’t used in the past 6 months, or don’t intend on using in the future.

Google yourself. But spend some time and go deeper. Take a full hour to search google images, videos, YouTube. Then go to other sites such as Peekyou.com, pipl.com, wink.compeople.yahoo.com, or zuula.com to search for your online presence. If you can’t find yourself, try including other things people may know about you when searching, like your city, place of employment, previous schools you attended, or friends/family connections. All this can be done for you personally, and/or the brand that you manage.

And I’m happy to report that I do take my own advice. Here’s what I’ve been able to do:

…It took me between 2-3 hours to complete it all.

If you have any other suggestions about what to include in a “social media spring cleaning” exercise, leave a comment and let me know.

April 12, 2012

How your Facebook account can help you land a job [Infographic]

Earlier this year plenty of coverage was given to the new trend of employers  asking job candidates for Facebook passwords as part of the interview process. Obviously, this raised questions about the legality of the request, rights of internet users, and job recruiting ethics.

While I am firmly against sharing social media usernames and passwords with anybody (including employers), I completely support granting hiring managers the same level of access to your accounts as your “ordinary” friends and followers – because if you have something to hide, you shouldn’t post it to your social media accounts, right? This access gives you the opportunity, among other things, to demonstrate to employers how you may be a good fit for their company, something that is often difficult to communicate in your resume.

Curating your social media profiles to be “employer friendly” isn’t just for people with “personal brands” or those looking for a job in the near future – it’s something that we all should be thinking about. But it’s more than just avoiding posting pictures of you partying or doing irresponsible things (Duff Man!). It’s more important to include, highlight, and promote all the good (personal and professional) things that you have to offer. Last year I wrote a post about keeping your social media profiles employer safe. It contains the basics of online reputation management, such as:

  • Never post anything that you would feel uncomfortable discussing in the lunchroom at work
  • Promote the good
  • Don’t brag about, or admit to, anything even close to a crime
  • Monitor your information
  • Remove postings by others that may get you in trouble
  • Etc.

The infographic below tells a story of recruiters using social media to find out good things about potential hires. They actually want to FIND and HIRE applicants, rather than disqualify them due to a questionable photo/comment. In 2012, companies are expected to use social media to recruit for 80% of their openings. This data contradicts the traditional narrative of “social media will get you fired” or “using facebook will make getting a job more difficult.”


Courtesy of: Online Degrees

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