The transparency of social media mandates that you need to live your life as if your mother is watching, because what happens in Vegas stays on YouTube. Based on President Barack Obama’s speech to our nation’s schools yesterday our commander-in-chief is in agreement.
When Obama was asked for advice on becoming President from a group of 14-15 year old students, he replied: “Well, let me give you some very practical tips. 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,” Obama said.
This advice is in relation to several recent studies that show employers are background checking on popular social media sites like Facebook and MySpace. One study by CareerBuilder.com indicates that 45% of employers have used social networking sites to research job candidates and 35% indicated they rejected a candidate based on what they found. Top examples noted from the CareerBuilder.com study were:
- Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information – 53 percent
- Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs – 44 percent
- Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients – 35 percent
- Candidate showed poor communication skills – 29 percent
- Candidate made discriminatory comments – 26 percent
- Candidate lied about qualifications – 24 percent
- Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer – 20 percent
Obama further went on to explain, “And, when you’re young, you make mistakes and you do some stupid stuff. And 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 somebody has done a search.
For anyone that believes social media is still a fad, it was interesting to see that our President dedicated some valuable time to social media during a very important speech. “You make your own future,” said Obama. My guess is that future will include a large dose of social media.