Social media poses risk to future careers

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - More and more students are learning what they post on social media could cause them issues in their future careers.

When young adults apply for jobs, try out for teams, or look to join any sort of professional group these days, their social media are likely to be scrutinized. University officials are warning students to be mindful of what they post or it could have consequences.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and many other social media sites are where young adults go to share their lives, but if they aren't careful it could cost them a job or a place on a team.

“It's always a risk whenever you put anything on social media,” Hastings College Associate Athletic Director Chris Clements said. “It can be shared, it can be liked by somebody's account that isn't private and then also it's stored there.”

Clements is also the head coach of the women’s says the has had to turn down athletes and coach applicants because of what they post. Employers often look to see if there are pictures or posts that would not represent their brand.

Students sometimes think they are safe with heightened privacy settings.

“People think ‘oh I am going to secure my account so no one can see anything or I am just going to delete everything all together’ which has its negative drawbacks as well,” Hastings College Vocation Career Coordinator Valerie Bren said. “And when employers are looking at social media, they not necessarily looking for what are they doing bad, 'do they fit into our culture?’”

Even if content is deleted it can be retweeted or liked by other accounts and stored on the internet. Politicians and celebrities are often being faced with past tweets coming back to haunt them, for students it is no different.

“Obviously understanding that they are 18-year-olds, they are posting things that are age relevant. but making sure that kind of the background of it is always good,” Clements said. “You never want, obviously, alcohol is a big thing and excessive partying.”

Officials want students to understand what they post now should be professional, yet still personable.

The officials also say if there are accounts from the past that surface, it is best to own up to it and emphasize how a person’s attitude and beliefs may have changed since the posts were made and apologize if need be.