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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Experts help to improve online image

University Information Security officers visited Career Services on Wednesday to explain employers’ rising dependence on social media to screen potential employees, as well as ways students can learn to strengthen their reputations online.

“This will help students to not only understand what they might need to do to protect themselves on Facebook and places like that, but to also understand how to use what’s out there online to enhance their reputation,” said University Information Security Officer Cathy Bates.

With no set program in place, information security officers are focusing on gathering momentum and working together with associations on campus so students can learn about the positive aspects of social media, Bates said.

“We want to make sure that the university is presented in a good light and that our graduates are really who we know they are, and that’s how they’re represented online,” said Senior Information Security Analyst Kelley Bogart. “We know we have a good group of kids and we want them to be represented that way.”

Although no definitive plans have been made, Career Services is interested in working with security information officers to figure out the best ways to teach students about social media and their online reputation, said Susan Miller, senior marketing and special events coordinator for Career Services.

“I think the opportunity to inform students and let them know what employers are thinking is important, Miller said. “(Employers) want to hire you but if you throw up all these red flags that indicate you’re going to be difficult, well, you don’t want to do that.”

Following the presentation, student workers at Career Services gave feedback and suggested how to interest students in learning how to improve their online reputations.

“I feel like it’s something students should go over before entering college, because a lot of things that happen in college and a lot of the things students are involved with aren’t always seen in the best light,” said finance junior Sarah Thompson.

The greatest benefit of improving one’s online reputation is to help secure a job after college, Thompson said. She suggested that Career Services get involved, establish workshops and provide statistics from jobs, as well as have an employer speak to students about the use of social networking sites in screening potential employees.

“There are so many wonderful things that students do while they’re here that don’t come through on a resume,” Bates said. “But, you can make them available online so when an employer Googles you, they will be able to see good things about you.”

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