How does social media impact your hiring status?

Students today have grown up with social media and have been taught the lessons of how the internet is forever. Entering the job force, how can social media still have an impact? Sarah Pinkerton | Photographer

By Mallory Harris | Staff Writer

Growing up, students are told that the internet is forever and to be mindful of what they say and do on the World Wide Web. Looking into the future and aspiring towards different careers, students are looking at the impact of social media on the job scene.

Jordan Strickland, career success professional in the Baylor Career Center, shared some basic guidelines for students to be cautious of when posting to social media. Strickland said social media is a form of self-expression and while it doesn’t need to be as formal as a resume, it still tells an employer about an applicant.

“We generally encourage the saying, ‘Anything you don’t want your grandma to see, you wouldn’t want your future employer to see,’ and you can try to avoid it with the privacy settings, but really anything you’re publishing on the internet can and will be seen,” Strickland said.

Houston sophomore and pre-business student Grace Harrison said social media in the business world helps give a first impression before submitting any resumes or applications. She said if an employer looks up your name and sees clean posts, it can add to their perception of you before going into an interview.

“When you are going in for an interview, you’re able to get your resume prepared and have all of your good qualities front and center. With social media, people can look up your name and find you on Facebook or Instagram and get to know a little bit about you and your lifestyle–how you are as a person–before they even get to see your resume,” Harrison said.

Strickland said most people aren’t hired solely from their social media but their postings of questionable behavior can plant a seed of doubt in employers’ minds. She said it is important to keep in mind how what is posted on social media might be interpreted by a hiring team.

“I think because social media has allowed for people to really express themselves and be who they are, employers want to see that,” Strickland said. “As much as they love a good resume and want you to be able to say the right things in an interview, what are we showing the rest of the world?”

Harrison said she thinks having a social media dedicated to posting pictures of friends and family is great but recommends having a more business-type presence on sites like LinkedIn. She said that account can show more of what you would be as an employee rather than just showcasing a lifestyle perspective.

While there are many cautionary tales to social media and being hired, Strickland said social media presence is here to stay. As students may have a grasp on navigating the social media world, the Career Center is available for those looking to see further effects it may have on getting the job.

“[In] society right now, we have a lot of issues going on and these companies are trying to build the best culture that is safe for their employees that is putting out the right messages,” Strickland said. “It’s more so about how you handle yourself.”