Friday, December 3, 2010

Dear Future Employers: Stop Creeping on Me

With the rise of social media sites, blogs, and Internet searches, job applicants are now subject to deeper, and more personal, scrutiny than ever before. While applying for various jobs, individuals search through their tagged photos on Facebook and quickly remove any and all photos that would shed a less than favorable light upon him or her. Now some would argue that this comes with the territory. If you're willing to put something on the Internet, it should be fair game for any and all to view it. I used to share this viewpoint. But I've changed my mind. I truly believe that my qualifications for a job should be clear through my resume, through an interview, or through my references. There is no need to click through my Facebook photos, view my friends' wall posts, or, read this blog, to determine whether not I would be a good representative of a company/employer/etc.

Now...I'm sure you're all thinking, "Well, what is she trying to hide?" And that's my point. I have absolutely nothing to hide. Pictures of me drinking a beer or holding a red cup are not in violation of any law. I didn't drink until I was 21 (some people don't believe this, but alas, it's true). On this note, I'm not condoning high schoolers who post pictures from parties on Facebook. That's just dumb. But I'm 23 and I should not have to worry about removing pictures from websites because of the impression they might give off. I'll defend any photo/tag/post you can find on my Facebook, by Google searching my name, or even reading my old Xanga.

I would rather that an employer ask me about certain things they find about me online, rather than me try to frantically cover up anything that might give the wrong impression. And wouldn't an employer rather see who I really am than some shined up, polished, fake online version of me? I sure would hope so.

So yes, we live in a time where the Internet dominates our lives and lifestyles. But the economy is tough enough for us recent college grads. While some of my fellow grads are still searching for jobs, how about we cut them a break and stop judging them strictly by their online content. Give them (us) a chance to explain.

In order to prove my point, I challenge you to try to dig up some really good dirt on me via the Internet. And then lets talk about it. Let me know what you find.

*stepping off my soap box now*