Employers must stop violating job candidates’ privacy
Employers and career advisement
professionals alike have created a
catch-22 within the modem job mar
ket with their scmtiny of social media.
More than ever, employers expect college
graduates to be increasingly unguarded by
maintaining a variety of online profiles,
from Facebook to Twitter to Linkedln. Po
tential hirers intend to gain a better idea
of a candidate’s experience, personality
and talents through all this mass exposure.
However, as any student has likely en
countered by now, professors and career
advisers constantly harp on the dangers of
letting slip any detail which might compro
mise one’s image in the eyes of an employ
er. In an already uncertain job market, such
advice may rack job seekers with anxiety
as they stmggle to maintain a surveillance-
state level of image control on outlets for
merly used as mindless socialization tools.
Studies have shown social media prove
poor stress relievers in the first place, of
ten triggering feelings of depression in
people as they compare their own lives to
the idealized window a Facebook profile or
Instagram feed lends to their friends’ lives.
Feeling these media websites repre
sent one’s worthiness for employment
does little to assuage these symptoms.
Facebook employs many privacy safe
guards for users to narrow the scope of what
others can see or even cut it off entirely, but
employers may distrust anyone who will
not accept a friend request. Some have even
engaged in such a gross violation of privacy
as to demand Facebook passwords so that
no detail may be hidden from their gaze.
Linkedln feels like the logical remedy for
social media paranoia in the job market.
Their profiles resemble little more than inter
active resumes, allowing former colleagues
to endorse one another without the clutter of
extensive photo galleries or status updates.
But, if career advisers’ warnings hold
any water, employers pry into Twitter
feeds and Facebook profiles hoping to get
a better glimpse at personalities and so
cial skills while eliminating anyone show
ing any sign of unprofessional behavior.
If photos of you at wild parties, chug
ging tequila straight from the bottle and
drawing genitals on your passed out
friend’s face with a Sharpie litter your
Facebook profile, you may need to rethink
your readiness to enter the adult world.
However, if you resemble the aver
age job candidate, you should not fear
losing your dream job because an em
ployer dug up a controversial political
opinion, a dumb joke or a picture of you
enjoying a night at the bar with friends.
Furthermore, many people of our genera
tion have maintained the same Facebook
or Twitter account for years, with posts
likely dating back to high school. Career
advisers may suggest we delete those pro- ’
files, but they often serve as digital time
capsules and crucial links to old friends
or relatives, even if they stress us out.
Though it feels increasingly less obvi
ous in the modem job market, a person’s
life can be about more than their career. *
Facebook, Twitter and other platforms
should strictly remain a part of the so
cial realm, leaving employers to use ap
propriate channels like career websites or
Linkedln to evaulate potential employ
ees and leaving candidates less paranoid.
Employers, leave the profile spying *
to the National Security Administration.
Karpen Hall 019
shathant® unca .edu
Shanee Simhoni, News Editor
ssimhoni@ unca .edu
Emily Honeycutt, Arts &
e honey cu @ unca.edu
Cory A. Thompson, Assistant
Arts & Features Editor
coryetc® gmail .com
Banner Editorial Board
(828) 251-6586 www.thebluebanner.net
A.V. Sherk, Sports Editor
asherk® unca .edu
Max Miller, Opinion Editor
Grace Raper, Copy Desk
graper® unca .edu
Jorja Smith, Photography
jsmithS® unca .edu
Will Breedlove, Photography
wbreedlo ® unca .edu
Tina Scruggs, Multimedia
Michael Gouge, Faculty
mgouge ® unca .edu
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