Social media and espionage. Did you know you are “cybervetted”?

All of us are spending an incredible amount of time on social media.

Some of us may use it especially for staying in contact with friends and family. This is particularly true for international students.

Others may use it more for information purposes or for job searching.

Whatever your reason may be, you are present in the cyberspace and future employers can search for you!

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF CYBERVETTING?

Cybervetting occurs when employers collect information about their current or future employees from informal and online sources such as social media and blogs.

MOST OF YOU DIDN’T KNOW…did you?

Well…facts and figures may scare you even more then. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Microsoft indicates that 79% of U.S. human resource managers use online information to evaluate candidates.

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Furthermore, this type of evaluation is part of their formal hiring process.

What does this imply?

This phenomenon has created a lot of thinking and debates. Many people consider it unethical or even a sort of illegal action. The thing is that there are no adequate legislation and policies to prevent it from happening.

According to the scholar Berkelaar, the issue regarding cybervetting is that it:

“violates implicit work/non-work boundaries.”

This may subsequently lead to other problems related to gender, race, age and so on. Imagine you have been given a good position, but then your boss finds out (through your Facebook profile) that you are pregnant or sick. Thus, he decides to change you to a lower position, without even discussing it with you, or explaining why.

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Private VS Public sphere: do they still exist?

According to the Canadian-American sociologist Erving Goffman, as human beings acting in a social space, what we want to show people is our frontstage, so to speak. The backstage is open only to the very-close-to-us people.

The thing about social media is that they have brought our front and backstage, namely our public and private life, into the same place.

WHAT TO DO?

If you think that the solution to this is disappearing from all possible social media

YOU ARE OH-SO WRONG!

In fact, not having an online presence is considered as a virtual suicide. Your future employers may think you have something to hide, thus what you need is to

FIND YOUR BALANCE AND BUILD YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION

4 BASIC RULES

According to Melissa Agnes, there are 4 basic rules to build your online reputation:

    CHOOSE YOUR NAME AND STICK WITH IT- Your name is like your personal brand, thus use it everywhere: CVs, social accounts, business card and so on.
    BUILD YOUR PERSONAL PROFILES AND STAY ACTIVE- You need to optimize your profile (or profiles) on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google plus and such.
    PURCHASE THE URL OF YOUR NAME- You can use your named webpage either professionally or in a more fun-based way, but still, try to show who you really are and include an appropriate content on it. One option could be…starting a blog! 🙂

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    MONITOR- Google yourself from time to time! Cybervet yourself in a way and see what people can find about you. You may think that this is silly…WRONG! (no reference intended here…maybe). It is indeed a very good way to keep track of the content on you and sometimes…you could be very surprised but what you can find (Like that picture you took on 2007 wearing a bath suit and a wig and drinking mojito…you’d better get rid of it somehow eheh)
     

    NOW YOU KNOW

    Got at this point the “I did not know” phrase doesn’t work anymore! SO, being aware of what is happening around you and knowing that you are being watched, what you have to do now is:

    TAKING ACTION

    ACT AND POST RESPONSIBLY

    BE THE ONE IN THE CHARGE OF YOUR IMAGE!

    One last thing…YOU CANNOT MISS THIS VIDEO ON CYBERVETTING!

    The video was produced by me and other four amazing coworkers of mine: Franzi, Gabriela, Anne Lyza and Elena.

     

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