Social media has arrived and continues to grow, change and advance every day. Networks such as Facebook or My Space have become very popular allowing people to interact from all over the world sharing everything from conversation, pictures, videos and so much more in applications. Facebook, in particular, became very popular with college students. Since the beginning of Facebook much has changed. What was once a site only for college students has greatly expanded and become a network for anyone wanting to join. With graduation on many seniors horizon is it safe to still be involved in these networks while entering the job market? I am senior at Auburn University, majoring in public relations, and I have found myself curious as to whether I should remove myself from the site or simply monitor my profile.
There are many ways of looking at this perspective. The first angle is using Facebook to your advantage. Laura Peacock, a senior at Auburn University majoring in public relations, says she will stay on Facebook after she graduates. There are many benefits of remaining on Facebook if it’s done properly. The first item to be removed from Peacock’s profile will be her pictures. There are also many security settings and steps individuals can take to make their profile more secure. A few musts would be to remove or highly monitor your wall and pictures, keep your personal information brief and appropriate, and also to make your page private. A few minor changes will allow you to stay on the network and maintain a positive image amongst your peers.
I got a chance to talk with Allan Schoenberg, Director of Corporate Communication at CME Group, on the concept of staying on Facebook or not. Having also done agency work at Edelman as well as his current position at CME he is an excellent source of credibility and experience. He had this to stay in regards to the website, “Yes, students should stay on Facebook post graduation.” He explained, “It’s transforming into a valuable business tool for companies and individuals to build and maintain relationships.” He told me networking was the greatest advantage of Facebook or any social media site. It a way to stay connected with your employees or people in your field from all over the world.
There is also a down side to remaining an active member on Facebook. If not properly regulated and monitored it could potentially cost you a job or an internship. Schoenberg said, “I do know that headhunters and recruiters look at Facebook for background information.” The last thing any student would want it to be denied a position due to incriminating pictures at college.
After thoughtful consideration and information from Schoenberg I have decided to remain on the website. Along with Peacock and other individuals I spoke with, the consensus is unanimous. With social media and technology being a staple in the work world staying in touch with your peers is priceless. Networking is a skill no one can afford to be without and Facebook allows you to do it for free.
Abby Rhodes is a student at Auburn University in Robert French’s class on public relations messages in emerging digital media. You can learn more at http://www.theloveliestvillage.org