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Be careful what you post on social media

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Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 12:00 am

Dear T2T: I am actually an adult writing in because I would like you to give your peers some advice on their social networking posts.

As a hiring manager, I am shocked at what I am able to find out about teenage applicants online. I cannot tell you how many times I have really liked a student, but decided against hiring them because of what I saw online. They make statements about drinking, use profanity, make derogatory remarks, encourage cheating, and even make negative comments about prior jobs. The pictures they post document the statements that they make.

What can you say to teens to help them realize the negative ripple effect that social networking can cause if used in this manner? — #adultslooktoo

Dear #adultslooktoo: Two separate groups of students on different campuses are now providing you with their perspectives! They receive the same letters and are asked to provide what the best advice they have to offer.

Response 1: We are very aware of this issue, as teenagers. We apologize in behalf of our peers. We encourage teenagers not to post negative or inappropriate remarks or pictures on social media. We do understand that adults who expect us to be role models can see them.

You can make your applicants more aware of this issue by adding a contract stating how negative posts on social media can affect your decision of hiring them. This way, applicants will be aware of the situation and can inform others who are trying to find a job.

Also, if your business has a website which accepts applications, you could put a page about what’s unacceptable to post on social media. Doing so, future employees will know exactly what you expect from them.

When one comes in to receive an applicant form, you could talk to them about putting inappropriate pictures or posts and how it will affect your ultimate decision. This way, they will hear directly from you what is expected. You can tell them if there is any doubt about anything you’re going to post, don’t post it at all.

Once something is on the Internet teens have to realize that there’s no going back and it’s going to be on there forever. If one little post was inappropriate, racist or vulgar, that could cost you your entire job.

Response 2: If you’re a teenager, then chances are that you are familiar with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Although these can be great ways of communicating with friends and planning events, anyone using these sites also has to be extremely cautious. Once you post a picture or send a message, it is permanently stored online. Pressing delete might remove your posts, but it is impossible to completely remove anything from the Internet.

As a general rule of thumb, if it’s questionable don’t post it. Everything a person posts online has consequences that can affect them for years into the future. Employers often check the online profiles of potential employees prior to hiring them. If an employer were to see that a potential employee makes derogatory remarks about previous jobs and posts inappropriate pictures of themselves or others, the chances of that person being employed are extremely low.

Furthermore, teenage drama has become especially prevalent, especially since the rise of social networking sites. Not only can what you post jeopardize your future career, it can create unwanted drama and destroy friendships.

Problem? Email teentips@hotmail.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.

Contact Information

Stephanie Hiatt

Learning Link Needs You!

We rely on the input of the community. If you are a teen or interested in teen issues, you can help us with the following regular features on Lodinews.com and in the Lodi News-Sentinel. Email Stephanie Hiatt at link@lodinews.com or call 209-369-2761.

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