Thursday, March 24, 2011

Social Networking – Netiquette for Job-Seeking Students

I conducted a “researching the employer” session for our students yesterday.  The session was designed to help students prepare for job interviews and to research to find potential employers (based on area of practice, geographic location, firm culture etc.).  One of the things we also talk about in these sessions is the research that a potential employer may (should) conduct about the student/job seeker.  I encourage the students to Google themselves and to make sure they aren’t posting things on Facebook or other sites that they wouldn’t want a potential employer to discover. 

Just as many law firms and businesses are developing social networking policies and training programs, law students should be exposed to this information as well.  Our students should be encouraged to use sites like LinkedIn for their professional social networking.  They need to understand the importance of a professional appearance even in their on-line environments. 

The Work Buzz (blog for reported on a survey of employers explaining how and where employers are looking for information on candidates during the hiring process. 

“The survey finds that only 7 percent of U.S. consumers (aka job seekers) believe available online information about themselves affected their job search. Yet, 70 percent of recruiters and HR professionals have rejected a candidate for information they found online...  In the U.S., 75 percent of surveyed recruiters and professionals say their organizations have formal policies that require them to do online digging. Based on those figures, the concern seems to have changed from whether or not your online reputation will affect your job hunt to how it will affect your job hunt.”

It’s clear that our students should be responsible about having a professional online image.  We need to make sure they get that message loud and clear!


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