Many young people are finding out their zest for social networking may be the very thing that is holding them back in the job market. New research shows those young people ages 16-24 are losing potential job offers because of comments or pictures on their online and social media profiles. Despite this, two-thirds of the 6,000 respondents in the survey said they are not concerned that their use of social media now may harm their future career prospects and are not deterred from using it. Facebook was the only major social network to lose users ages 12 to 64 between 2011 and 2012. Of course, it’s still the largest social network, but the fact that the site is losing users in a major age group raises the question: Why is Facebook still so important to this younger generation? You Tube, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, and MySpace continue to be a significant part of the social network sphere.
Another interesting phenomenon is that this same generation is often more concerned about making their social media profile look good to their friends as opposed to prospective employers. Better education of the impact of social media is needed to ensure young people are not making it even harder to get themselves on the career ladder. Understanding the message of keeping your social media profile “job ready” has been ignored by many of the younger generation. There are things that the younger job candidates need to keep in mind with regards to their social media profile.
Keep your profile updated. There is nothing wrong with putting a positive spin on your profile. Emphasize your strengths. The key is to be positive, and to not say anything bad about any former employer or colleague. This way, your profile will have accurate information, and you can come across as a proactive and healthy potential employee for potential employers. Do not use social media to overtly market or sell yourself. Instead educate, enlighten, inform, and entertain your audience. Do not mix personal and business accounts. Do not feel the need to disclose everything. Not everyone who likes sausage wants to see exactly how it is made. Be open and honest and use discretion. Do the same up-front planning you would for any important business initiative. Define your target audience. Detail how you intend to create value for a company or business. Document your approach and objectives for each specific medium. Keep your eyes open. Use Google Alerts, search.twitter.com, relevant Linkedin Groups, and other sites to monitor or “listen in” on conversations with potential employers and businesses.
Social media is not going anywhere. If anything, it is becoming more powerful. Who knows what the grandchildren of young adults of today will face when it comes to obtaining employment. One thing is certain, social media will be a part of the dialogue for many years to come.
Source: Think Before You Post – Using Social Media in the Workplace.” Think Before You Post – Using Social Media in the Workplace. Web. 20 June 2013.