I am new to this forum. I apologize if this topic may have been discussed in another area. I did a search and could not find what I am seeking.

I volunteer as advise women at the local University. One of the items that falls into what I advise on is programming for seniors (career advice, resume workshops, mock interviews, etc).

For the past couple of years, I have been standing on my soapbox about how these women MUST clean up their Facebook profiles. They do not seem to get why it is important. I often hear, "How could someone they are not connected to view their profile if they are using a particular security setting on Facebook?" If anyone has a good answer for this, I would really appreciate it. The "anyone can hack" answer is not cutting it anymore.

In addition, I would like to hear if, as a hiring manager or recruiter, have researched potential candidates on Facebook and what the results have been ... esp. pertaining to college students.

If anyone knows how a "bad" Facebook profile effects a student's chances of getting into graduate school, that would be greatly appreciate, too.

I have listened to the podcasts and they are good place to start. What I am seeking is information from people who visit this forum.

Communication skills: Has anyone began to notice that recently graduated students have a difficult time with written communication skills, in particular emails? Do you think that since this group of students have grown up communicating with each other via text messaging has anything to do with this? What do you think? Do you know of any resources to help educate college students to communicate better via written word and how to tailor their communication to the individual who is receiving the message?

I appreciate all of your help!

jhack's picture

Have you read through this thread:

As for your "what's the matter with kids today?" question, complaints about the decline of civilization due to the sloppy habits of the young have a long history. Didn't Socrates corrupt the youth of Athens? Jonathan Swift was also particularly concerned with the imminent collapse of English.

They need coaching and feedback. Sure, they have bad habits today. You can show them the way, and then they will find their own.

And thanks for working with this group - they're our future!


rgbiv99's picture

The positions that I interview and hire for are primarily entry level, straight out of college roles, so I do have experience with this.

I don't know of a way to look at someone's Facebook page if it's private, but M&M say that if a page is private then recruiters interpret that as if the candidate has something to hide. I don't necessarily, but it doesn't win them any points either.

I have actually had more experience with looking at a page and the information on it compels me to that person more. For example, one girl that I did end up hiring had something about how she's addicted to magazines and we are in the magazine business, so this was a plus. Another guy said that he really liked spreadsheets (I, too, love spreadsheets and they are critical to the job). So I guess what I would tell people is that if they have a professional looking site then it can really work in their favor. Also, no one is impressed by how drunk they got last weekend. :D

As far as communication skills, I don't see that too much. It's more inexperience than using text language. I did have one direct who wrote without capitalization and punctuation and I just gave feedback on it. "Can I tell you something? When you send emails without using proper punctuation and capitalization, here's what happens: your colleagues may think you're unprofessional and I wonder if you're ready to be in touch with our clients on your own. Can you do it differently next time?"

It wasn't a problem after that. Best of luck.

bug_girl's picture

Hi! I also work extensively with college students, now as the primary person who does hiring for our interns, and earlier when I was in academia.

Both men and women have trouble with overly sharing online. There are many, many news articles detailing how this has gone wrong for students, including some in which students were charged with crimes or denied graduation based on info revealed online.

This generation doesn't passively consume media--they expect to be an [i]author[/i] and [i]the star[/i]. This is why they twitter, blog, photograph, video, and facebook their lives. And telling them to stop or censor themselves is tough.

The simplest fix is to tell them to have two personas--one professional, and one that is not connected to their actual name. You can change your name to just about anything on Facebook or MySpace, but few students take advantage of this.

It doesn't always work, but it does make the message easier for them to hear, because they don't have to radically change what they do--only where they share it.

Some have argued that the standards for what is publicly acceptable will change, in time, so that photos of you in a bikini, on a pole, with a beer bong will not be an obstacle to employment. I hope that is not the case, but I am seeing some signs of that :(

garyslinger's picture
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[quote="bug_girl"]This generation doesn't passively consume media--they expect to be an [i]author[/i] and [i]the star[/i]. This is why they twitter, blog, photograph, video, and facebook their lives. And telling them to stop or censor themselves is tough.[/quote]
Actually, it really isn't. Their /acceptance/ of that reality may be tough on /them/, but that's not high on my (as a manager) list of concerns.