GA Ashley on The Virtual You: Technology and Job Search Privacy

While technology can be a huge help to job searching and life in general, it is now something else to be conscious of when applying for positions.

Most of you have likely heard by now about the need to use Facebook’s privacy settings to protect yourselves from criminal behavior such as stalking, but did you know that many employers are now using social networks to screen potential job candidates? CareerBuilder recently surveyed over 2,600 hiring managers and found that 45 percent of the employers use social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and blogs to help evaluate candidates. Thirty-five percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate. The top examples cited include:

Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information – 53 percent

Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs – 44 percent

Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients – 35 percent

Candidate showed poor communication skills – 29 percent

Candidate made discriminatory comments – 26 percent

Candidate lied about qualifications – 24 percent

Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer – 20 percent

Even if you don’t have anything questionable on your social networking pages, you should also monitor your friends’ comments. The people you spend time with reflect on you, whether positively or negatively, and a potential employer will likely not give you the benefit of the doubt.

The email you list on your resume or use to contact potential employers should be professional (preferably your name or something similar). If necessary, create a new email address specifically for professional contacts. You should also never use emoticons (smiley faces) or text messaging language (such as “lol”) in emails to potential employers.

If you are tech savvy and interesting enough to have a blog, this is another issue to consider when job searching. Follow the same guidelines as Facebook: no inappropriate photos, no mentioning how much you hate your current job, and please, please use correct grammar and spelling. There is no point in telling a potential employer about your stellar attention to detail if he or she is able to clearly see that you don’t know the difference between “there” and “their”.

Finally, Google your name and see what information comes up. I searched my name and was linked to my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, the website for my current employer, my marriage announcement, and volleyball networking sites (where I had posted a note several months ago looking for a team). Safe enough. Check your own and make sure no red flags appear.

The moral of the story is to just use common sense with your online presence. No one else is going to fight for you to get the job you want. It’s up to you!



GA Dacia on the Top 5 Reasons To Visit the Career Center

1. Linked In: LinkedIn is a web-based social network.  It allows users to:

  • construct a public profile
  • identify a list of users with whom they share a common connection
  • view and navigate their and others’ connection lists within the system (Gerard, 2011).

More than one third of adults are using an online social networking site to promote themselves to potential employers as well as maintain business and professional contacts (Gerard, 2011).  Current college students and recent graduates, note that LinkedIn can be utilized to assist with job searching (Gerard, 2011).  How do you actively manage your professional networks and use them for career building?  Stop in and find out!

2. Networking: Networking is the ability to build, maintain and use relationships for career success (Wolff & Moser, 2008).  It is a complex skill; most people require specific training and practice in order to get excel in this area (Gerard, 2011).  The importance of this skill is often underestimated.  Many students feel uncomfortable or unskilled in networking (de Janasz & Forret, 2008). Networking behaviors are used to construct and maintain informal contacts that enhance career achievement. Networking is positively related to:

  • objective and subjective measures of career success (Wolff & Moser, 2008),
  • favorable performance ratings noted by employers (Wolff & Moser, 2008)  and
  • coincident career satisfaction that remains stable throughout time (Wolff & Moser, 2008).

Developing and maintaining professional relationships can help an individual gain access to needed information or resources, obtain guidance, social support and sponsorship, search for and secure employment opportunities (de Janasz & Forret , 2008). Networking can beconsidered an investment that pays off in the future; those with good networking skills tend to have higher salaries and more satisfying jobs (Wolff & Moser, 2008).  How do you get to know professionals and utilize these connections for career success? Stop in and find out!

3. Internship Opportunities: Students often seek courses that contain material they feel will be directly related to their career goals.  What better way to learn than through a real-world work experience for academic credit?  Internships can help students find jobs.  Studies have shown that those students who opt to participate in internship:

  • have more accurate perceptions of the organization culture of the work place, contributing to increased success (Knouse & Fontenot, 2008)
  • are offered jobs more quickly than those who had not opted for internships (Knouse & Fontenot, 2008)
  • experience both work-related and organizational learning through their internships (Knouse & Fontenot, 2008)
  • have increased problem solving, critical thinking and rhetorical skills compared to those who did not experience professional relationships in a nonacademic setting  (Narayanan, Olk & Fukami, 2010).

How do you capitalize on your college’s internship connections in the community to get academic credit for real world experience? Stop in and find out!

4. Resume Writing: We all know that how we are portrayed on paper may be the only opportunity given for some jobs.  Even in this tough economy, the jobs are out there all over the country for the right candidate with the right resume (Dessert, 2009).  Many scholars note that the best thing you can do to impress a potential employer is get some good hands on experience and express yourself well in writing (Dessert, 2009).  How do you utilize your writing abilities to attract the eyes of a future employer? Stop in and find out!

5. Career Counseling: Many individuals, especially young adults, struggle when making career decisions (Gati & Asulin-Peretz, 2011).  The issue behind this problem is likely the vast alternatives to choose from, the necessity to take many considerations into account and uncertainty in oneself as well as the work world (Gati & Asulin-Peretz, 2011).  The list of possible reasons why students may not utilize career counseling services is quite vast.  In my opinion, our society unfairly pushes students to choose a career path upon completion of high school.  Students who are unsure of what they want to do for a career feel left behind and ashamed about their uncertainty.  Is it fair that we expect 18 year olds to know what they want to do with the rest of their life?  If you are struggling with a career path, you are not alone.  How can we help you sort out your career choices? Stop in and find out!


Narayanan, W.K., Olk, P.M., Fukami, C.V. (2010). Determinants of internship effectiveness: an exploratory model. Academic Management  Learning & Education,9(1):61-80.

Gati ,I., Asulin-Peretz, L. (2011). Internet-based self-help career assessments and interventions: challenges and implications for evidence based career counseling.  Journal of Career Assessment, 19(3):259-273.

Knouse, S.B., Fontenot, G. (2008). Benefits of the business college internship: a research review. Journal of Employment Counseling, 45:61-66.

de Janasz, S.C., Forret , M.L. (2008). Learning the art of networking; a critical skill for enhancing social capital and career success. Journal of Management Education, 32(5):629-650.

Wolff, H.G., Moser ,K. (2009). Effects of networking on career success: a longitudinal study. Journal of Applied  Psychology, 94(1):196-206.

Gerard, J.G. (2011). Linking in with linkedin: three exercises that enhance professional social networking and career building. Journal of Management  Education, 20(10):1-32.

Dessert, P.E. (2009). Writing a hot resume for today’s job market: a tale of two engineers. Manufacturing Engineering, 143(5):102-103.



GA Jackie on Internships…

Internships…those things adults always talk about, how important they are and how valuable the experience will be.  Well as a recent college graduate I can most definitely say internships are important.

I have always loved working with children.  It was the one thing I knew for sure from the start.  Teaching?  Maybe.  During my sophomore year of college I joined the Emotional Quotient (EQ) club on the Siena campus.  Our members went into a local middle school and taught thirty-nine minute lessons about emotional intelligence and characteristic traits.  This program gave me the opportunity to see that teaching was not for me.  I found it difficult to constantly find the right words in front of a large group of students.  I am much more comfortable in smaller groups being the mediator rather than the enforcer.  However EQ also gave me the opportunity to learn that I loved the school setting.  I really enjoyed being around the children and working in a team environment as well.  Thus I began thinking about Guidance Counseling.

With this idea in mind I ventured back to my hometown middle school and set up a mini internship.  I spent two weeks over my winter break during both my junior and senior years of college working in their guidance department.  This experience allowed me to put myself behind the desk and say, ‘I can really see myself doing this and more importantly enjoying it.’  Although it was only a short time, it truly made the world of difference and led me to Sage Graduate School and in the Professional School Counseling Program.

Although I have known for quite some time that I want to be a Guidance Counselor, during my senior year of college I took a class on domestic violence and found myself really engaged about the efforts to stop this awful societal issue and wanted to pursue it more.  I approached my professor who works at a domestic violence agency here in Troy, and asked if she takes interns.  She said yes and we quickly began the process of setting up what turned out to be one of the most eye opening and rewarding experiences of my undergraduate career.

My time at Unity House was so valuable and I am glad I made the decision to do the internship Although, it was not directly related to my career path it gave me priceless experience in the field of domestic violence, a situation I may confront in my career as a counselor.  I learned so much from the staff who work tirelessly helping victims, but more so I learned from the victims.  Seeing firsthand the struggles these people face, yet they still remain positive was remarkable.  The internship taught me compassion and empathy – two qualities that are vital when working with people no matter what the specific field may be.

Internships are experiences that can reinforce your career choice or show you that it might be time to take a different path.  I was fortunate enough to have two experiences that reassured my career choice and ultimately taught me so much about not only myself but working with people as well.  It is crucial for students to take advantage of these opportunities and utilize the greater community; not only are you learning about yourself and gaining valuable experience, the agency benefits immensely from having an intern.