SEATTLE--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--While Facebook may have been LOL fun in college, it’s now creating some serious OMG for the more than 51 percent of new grads currently getting the cold shoulder from job recruiters.
“Social media is now viewed as a ‘must-check’ piece in the hiring process”
But thanks to a new social media reputation service called Persona, job seekers can quickly and easily remove regrettable posts from their past, and be notified via cell phone texts when any new ones surface. The service monitors each user’s social media networks 24/7, including Facebook, Twitter and Google+, flags potentially offensive photos and posts and allows users to delete them directly from the alerts. The service is sold online at the company’s website at www.persona-co.com.
“When Facebook officially launched back in 2006, it didn’t take long for almost every teenager in the country to set-up an account and begin posting off-the-cuff comments and images without giving a thought to long-term consequences,” said Persona founder and CEO Lee Sherman. “Back then it never entered any of these kids' minds that one day employers might come across their posts and use them against them in a job search.”
The Federal Reserve Bank reports that, in 2012, 51 percent of college graduates were un- or under-employed. Many of those job seekers are now scrambling to clean-up their social media accounts in ways that present an employer-friendly online persona.
“If you’re looking for a job and think that recruiters are only evaluating your resume and references – you’re missing the boat. And, at the same time, probably losing the job,” said Sherman. “Our tool helps fix that and puts candidates in a much stronger position to land jobs.”
Persona comes in two versions: a text-only version and a more comprehensive Persona Pro version that flags questionable photos as well as text. The text-only product is regularly priced at $19.99 a year but to encourage new user trial the company is offering a free 90-day trial to the first 5,000 users who sign up at the company’s website. This will enable the early adopter group to both go back several years and purge questionable posts and to experience Persona’s real-time benefits as well, free of charge. The text and photo, Professional version is also available at $29.99 per year.
A recent survey of job recruiters, conducted by Jobvite, revealed that nine out of ten are using social media as part of the recruiting process. That’s just tip of the iceberg according to Sherman.
“69 percent of recruiters have already rejected candidates based on negative online content – a number that we know is conservative and rapidly on the rise,” said Sherman.
Recruiters are also confirming this increasingly important step in the hiring process.
“Social media is now viewed as a ‘must-check’ piece in the hiring process,” according to Stacey Engle, director of marketing at Fierce Inc., a global leadership training company based in Seattle. “Employees are not only expected to fill certain skill sets but, as importantly, represent their employer’s brand and culture. Given that, social media is an ongoing conversation that young grads must be savvy enough to navigate. If candidates are not able to manage their own brand presence in a way that achieves their goals, companies will have no confidence that they will be able to on the job.”
Persona is a social media utility dedicated to helping Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ users protect their professional reputations. It flags inappropriate posts and images, allowing users to delete them directly from Persona’s alerts. Persona filters through a user’s complete profile history and then continues to monitor content in real time, making it easy and convenient to maintain a professional online identity. The company’s website can be viewed online at www.persona-co.com.