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Hold That Nasty Tweet: The Truth About Your Internet Footprint

In the Digital Age, everybody knows everyone. Louie-An Pilapil shows us the consequences of having an active online presence.


11 Nov 2013 Print This Post Print This Post

    The President of the United States said it himself: Careful with those status updates.

    “First of all, I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life,” Barack Obama said during a roundtable with high school students in Virginia last September. “And when you’re young, you know, you make mistakes and you do some stupid stuff. I’ve been hearing a lot about young people who, you know, they’re posting stuff on Facebook, and then suddenly they go apply for a job, and …”

    This is the kind of advice that students aiming for career advancement must take to heart. And it comes from the most powerful person on the planet.

    Almost all young people today have accounts on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. They also maintain blogs that chronicle their daily activities and, sometimes, become a venue for some very intense venting. While we recognize that what people do in their free time is their business, most hiring managers and recruiters think that what you do outside of the office is a reflection of what kind of employee you will be.

    “Nowadays, companies are able to use information (from social networking sites) to check the background of a job candidate,” said Euvienne Escano, a Hong Kong-based Senior Human Resources Officer at business-to-business media company Global Sources. “Now that information is easily accessible on the web, some recruiters “Google” potential job candidates to do background checks. There are a lot of ways to check someone’s background and searching in Google and browsing social networking sites are among them.”

    Karla Mallari, Employee Services Specialist for call center 24/7 Customer, agrees. “The recruiter can always check Facebook, Friendster, Twitter and MySpace accounts for (a job applicant’s) employment history,” she said. She adds that, even though the company does not do Google searches on job candidates, they hire a contractor who conducts background investigations for them. “They have a way of finding out who your past employers are even if you don’t declare all of them,” she added.

    Does she think it is necessary to do background checks on applicants through their Internet footprint? “In my opinion, yes, if recruiters don’t have any other way of confirming an applicant’s employment background,” Karla declared.

    What about fairness? Aren’t we all entitled to voice our opinions in blogs, post pictures of our drinking sessions with friends, let everyone know how badly we were treated by the counter girl at the CD shop when we tried to return and exchange defective discs?

    Euvienne thinks using incriminating photos, Tweets, blog posts or status messages against a potential hire is not unfair at all. “What a person does during his private time is of his own free will. But I also believe that this says a lot about the person’s character,” she asserted. “Having said that, I will most likely not hire or even grant an interview to an applicant who (has pictures of himself/herself) half-naked, pole dancing in a bar or gulping beer. I also won’t hire a candidate who blogs about his or her current employer. Too much partying or even venting may not necessarily be bad, but the potential problems I see are lack of commitment, enthusiasm and motivation, and potential attendance issues.”

    Karla has a different view and thinks it is prejudiced to judge an applicant based on what he or she does during off-hours. However, she believes that if a blog entry, status message or Tweet is against a colleague or the organization the person works for, that has to be taken into consideration. “It’s a determinant of the future employee’s work attitude,” Karla said.

    So be warned. What you put out there via the Internet could come back and haunt you in the future. Remember this if you want to make it big in the corporate world or be President of your country.



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    One Response to “Hold That Nasty Tweet: The Truth About Your Internet Footprint”

    1. Caleb 21 May 2014 at 9:20 pm #

      It is astonishing to see how fast a tweet or Facebook post can make it around the internet. A simple thought or statement can be global in the blink of an eye and in many cases it can not be taken down or forgotten. Any young adult or an adult advanced in their career needs to be careful about what they put on the internet. It can definitely be used against you.

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