Thursday 8 December 2016

Adrian Weckler: Don't leave social media trail for employers

Published 09/03/2016 | 02:30

Facebook. Photo: PA
Facebook. Photo: PA

What does your teenage CEO applicant want to be? An engineer? A nurse? A marketer? Whatever it is, they won't want to be embarrassed by their social media 'long tails'. At least that's the message some senior employers are sending out to the job seekers of tomorrow.

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"Thank God Facebook and Twitter and Instagram were not around when I was growing up," said Aisling Hassell, vice president of online accommodation company Airbnb yesterday. "That's the place that your future employers are going to look about what kind of person you are."

She's not kidding. Most recruiters say that searches on social media are now standard when considering a candidate. And many admit red flags are regularly raised.

More serious transgressions are punished in a more serious way. Two weeks ago, a UK Court jailed two young brothers for mocking a judge on Facebook. Daniel and Samuel Sledden had received suspended sentences for dealing in drugs, but sneered at the judge online after being released. The judge saw the remarks and removed the suspension.

If there is any consolation to parents, it is that today's teenagers tend to know all of this better than their elders.

For instance, there is a reason that the auto-deleting social messaging service Snapchat is overwhelmingly used by younger people, even while we oldies pour out our most valuable personal information on Facebook and Twitter. A generation born into social media, teens have an instinctive sense of how to use it.

Irish Independent

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