Social Media and the Professional World


Nicole Long holding her two favorite types of social media.

Josh Ball, Staff Writer

In today’s world, social media is so prevalent in the lives of many people. Social media can affect you in ways you would never expect. It can affect the qualifications for a job, depending on your digital footprint. According to Simon Fraser University, “more than 52% of employers used social media to help determine whether candidates’ skills and qualifications met the job requirements.” Social media websites such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook all have multiple ways to post. These can be abused by posting inappropriate images, words or phrases. The saying, “once you post it, there’s no way to get rid of it 100%,”  is true because we do not know if once something is deleted if it is actually gone.

Courtney Short, a general manager at Cold Stone Creamery, deals with employing teenagers and adults. Short was asked what types of things she would look out for when hiring someone. She said, “I would look for pictures or memes about risky behaviors, like participating in drug use. I would also look for positive community interactions.” Knowing the things employers look out for when hiring, can help us make better decisions.

Some schools in the Salt lake Valley look into social media before admitting students. This is a precaution – schools and businesses want to present themselves in the best way possible online. When you portray yourself in a manner which is favorable, you open many new opportunities that could have been previously closed when unfavorable things are posted online.

These precautions are usually taken for young adults rather than teenagers, depending on job positions and closeness with the community. Teen jobs at fast food places and retail are considered entry level and don’t need much education to accomplish the tasks at hand. When people start looking for jobs that require specific skills or education, it becomes more of a priority to ensure they are hiring the best possible person to complete the job.

Background checks are commonly used in the U.S. when employers are looking for employees. This is similar to the social media checks, but the content that comes back is different. Background checks look at criminal record, while social media checks look at who you are and what you are comfortable sharing with the world. 

Social media and background checks are very prevalent in the business community today. Both go hand in hand when applying for a new job. Managers in business or those in university admittance look at these things to help ensure the safety of their business or school. High school students can help ensure their spot at a university or in a job by keeping social media up to societal standards and not posting inappropriate images or content into the World Wide Web.