digital idWith social media use on a continual rise, online profiles now serve as secondary resumes.  A new study states that as many as 92% of all employers nationwide check a job applicant’s social media profile before hiring.  In addition, 69% of respondents report not hiring a candidate based on something found on a social networking site. Companies and universities take advantage of the personal information available on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to aid their decision process for admitting potential students or hiring new employees.  Posted photographs, tweets and affiliated online groups create an online persona.  These bits and pieces of information make their way online and become safely stored away in the Internet’s memory.

Using social media platforms as a means for showcasing one’s accomplishments and reputable personal character traits may positively influence an employer’s decision.  If used appropriately social media helps individuals stand out from other job applicants. For students, photographs of traveling excursions and participation in extracurricular activities attract positive attention from admissions officers.  Online reputations aligned to academic and professional goals offer increased opportunities for impressing HR managers, future employers and university representatives.

As a parent of two teenage boys, I understand the frequent exposure young children experience with regards to social media.  Children and teenagers often fail to understand that one silly photograph or comment may severely impact their future ambitions. Too many teenagers and adults believe information posted online remains private for friends and family. In fact, uploaded content becomes public domain, opening doors for unintended eyes to see.  I created Virallock to ensure that young teenagers, college students and job applicants receive equal opportunities for success.

Your viral footprint might not seem significant now.  However, at some point in your life, and most likely without you knowing, others will scan your social media platforms in order to gain insight into your character. With the introduction of more and more social media platforms, it becomes difficult to distinguish between good and bad content.  It also requires time to scan and delete potential damaging content, especially if your photo count is in the thousands and you posted content eight years ago. Relying on social media experts like Virallock helps protect your viral footprint. Virallock performs extensive website evaluations and provides recommendations and continued monitoring to support young Internet users in their efforts to access educational and professional opportunities through social media.

In general, all Internet users must be smart about their digital footprint, and take the time to establish a positive online reputation since users rarely know who might be reviewing their profile.

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