Students Beware: The Reality of Social Media Recruiting

Colleges and employers are increasingly relying on social media to assess a candidate's character, integrity, and cultural fit. From Kaplan Test Prep's annual survey of college admission officers to CareerBuilder's survey of employers, it’s clear that social media vetting has gone mainstream.

For the most part, students have come to accept this additional hurdle, although many still express fear, uncertainty, and doubt over how their typically one-dimensional social media activities will be interpreted by colleges and employers. In fact, the majority still choose to act defensively by deleting what they perceive to be questionable photos and posts, hiding behind an alias, or shutting down their social media altogether. This is a mistake.

Hiding one’s online presence directly conflicts with what is arguably the more important yet largely under-reported aspect of social media: college and corporate recruiters are learning to use the search capabilities of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to identify and then recruit targeted talent.

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