Caution in Your Actions Leading to the Job Search
Social Media | Your Cell
here to spot a "Bad Employer." This also links to the Better
Providing Personal Info on Job Boards
Occasionally identity thieves place fake job postings on online job boards in
an attempt to trick job seekers into giving personal information. The
perpetrators then contact those job seekers and ask for personal info, such
as SS# and bank account information, supposedly for the human resources
department. Never provide personal information online or over the
phone without verifying who you are talking to.
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Blogs)
Will others find "digital dirt" on YOU? Career Services also
cautions you regarding any information you post on the Internet, whether in
blogs, Facebook or MySpace. Potential employers & graduate school admissions
officers can often view your information, including pictures. Access to this
site can be gained through student interns, alumni, and others. Therefore,
please know that anything you post online, including your personal
information, is actually PUBLIC information and can be used against you. Be
cautious about what is posted and use privacy settings to your advantage
when using Facebook and Myspace. Think about what your blog or profile says
about you to an employer or graduate school.
Suggestion: We suggest changing your privacy settings so that
only other students, confirmed friends can view your information.
Here is an excerpt from an article featured in the Louisiana State
University weekly newspaper entitled, "Facebook Users Beware: Unsuspected
Onlookers," by Michelle Martin.
"Facebook is not just for bored college kids anymore, and you might want to
think twice about what you write. These online community forums (other
examples include MySpace and ConnectU) are becoming popular tools that
employers use to scope out potential employees. This method of assessment
allows employers to find out about the 'you' that you don't hand to them in
a black vinyl portfolio.
"Because the Facebook is a public Web site, the screening of potential
employees' profiles is legal. There are ways of controlling who sees what on
'Use the privacy settings to your advantage.' You can make it more difficult
for an employer to find your information by making your privacy settings
can view your profile (or contact info) to friends or 'friends of friends.'"
At many universities, campus officials are working to raise awareness of
this new trend among employers. For example, Tufts University introduced the
risks of the Facebook at their freshman orientation. According to
Boston.com, '[they] encouraged students to omit detailed personal
information from their profiles, such as dormitory room numbers and class
schedules. Boston College plans to do the same next year, and Boston
University has instructed residential advisers on offering guidance on
Facebook matters.' Other universities are taking a larger role in their
students' interaction with the Facebook. In October 2005, the University of
New Mexico banned the Facebook Web site from its campus network."
"Telephone Etiquette and Answering Machines" by
Consider for a moment how your phone is currently being answered.
Professional courtesy is quite often not the standard for most college
students. An abrupt "Yeah!" could be listed among the more courteous
greetings. The more outrageous remarks will often buy you a major black mark
in the professionalism category--even if it was your idiot roommate. A
simple, "This is ____" is always a pleasant change for the average college
dorm room or apartment. Make the change today, before you wrap your tongue
around the next company phone call. As difficult as may seem, you might want
to encourage your roommate to do the same.
One final note on phone etiquette: if you (or any of your roommates) persist
in the use of creative phone answering lines ("Sam's Mortuary, you stab 'em,
we slab 'em"), just remember that the click you hear on the other end of the
line may be the sound of your dream job being passed on to Contestant #2.
An integral part of Job Search Central is the effective use of an answering
machine or voicemail to take your calls when you are out. If you do not have
an answering machine yet, purchase one immediately. If you already own an
answering machine, you might consider updating your "Doctor Strangelove"
greeting or any other "unique and unusual" greeting. Just imagine that your
future boss is being greeted by your answering machine and then answer this
question: Will it enhance or detract from what they think of you? If it is
the latter, change it. Otherwise, your future boss may end up being someone
else's future boss.
I realize I should not even have to address this subject, but woefully, over
50 percent of the college answering machines I reach have an inappropriate
outgoing message. They often make reference to social habits ("I'm unable to
answer my phone because I'm either out partying or passed out on my bed"),
study habits ("I'm blowing off my normal classes to pursue advanced studies
in chemical inebriation"), or even sexist remarks ("guys leave your phone
number, girls leave your measurements") and many others, some of which are
not suitable to print. I've heard them all. Take note--when I hear one of
these sophomoric messages, that is likely the end of your candidacy with our
company. You will never even know that I called. I will probably just hang
up and cross you off my list. Think about it the next time you hear the
caller "click off" on your machine without leaving a message. That could
have been your dream job gone bye-bye. It may have been fun for the first
few years, but don't blow your job opportunities over a stupid message. Stop
right now, put down this book, and change your message to one of the
- (If you live by yourself) "Hello. This is (name). I'm not available
to take your call right now. Please leave your name, phone number, and the
best time to reach you. I will get back to you as soon as possible."
- (If you live with others) "Hello. You have reached (names). We are
not available to take your call right now. Please leave your name, phone
number, the best time to reach you, and the name of the person you are
trying to reach. We will get back to you as soon as possible."
Real Salisbury University Story:
SU's Career Services Office received a call from a prominent local
employer who was examining student resumes for a job opening he had.
He explained to us the story as it actually happened. He began by
telling us one student resume looked really good and the resume was strong
and very professional. He used the phone number on the resume to
contact the student to hopefully set up an interview. When he called
he received the student answering machine voice mail message. To
his disbelief, the student's message, without going into detail, was sexist
and totally unacceptable for the employer. The employer told us about
this and said there was no way that he would even consider a student who had
a message like that. He went on to say that he would never consider
this student for any position because of the nature of the message. We
contacted the student and told him he had basically lost the chance to
interview for a well-paying job because of his voice mail message. The
student had completely forgotten what he had on the machine and was going to
change it. The sooner the better!!
Make Sure You Have a Professional Email Address
One of the first things a prospective employer sees on a resume is
the email address. Your email address is often at the very top
part of the resume along with the name, address, and phone number.
It is also a very important piece of information as many employers
prefer to do all their communication via email. This means it should be
a very professionally sounding email that is acceptable to all
employers. In addition, the email should be an address that works
and is read by you on a regular, daily basis. The employer may
contact you and ask for a response within a day. If you are not
reading your email consistently, start doing so now.
Unacceptable email addresses vary from the somewhat humorous to the
obnoxious. Put yourself in an employers shoes and try to see how you
would react after reading an email that said
Would this be a student you would really pursue for your organization?
Some email addresses are funny and have their place but that place is not
during a job search. Clean up those email addresses and make them
conservative and professional. Use your campus email address if you
feel comfortable with it. The most important way to judge your email
address is to ask yourself the question "what would an employer think about
College Students Should Steer Clear Of
By Michelle Singletary Thursday, October 21, 2004; Page E03
When my niece Lauren came home recently from her first semester at
Spelman College in Atlanta, one of the first things we talked about was
I asked Lauren if she needed any. She gave me that look teenagers give
when asked an obvious question.
Then I asked her if she had applied for a credit card. I wasn't going to
launch into a lecture. I just wanted to see if she, like many college
freshmen these days, had been tempted by the plastic devil.
"No way, Aunt Michelle," Lauren said. "When it comes to your money, you
don't play around with something like that. I know that if I got a
credit card, I would tell myself that I would just splurge a little. But
you can get in debt real fast."
"You go, girl," I said, giving her a high-five.
I've said it before and I'm going to say it again and again: College
students should not get credit cards until they are at least about to
graduate and have lined up a full-time job.
Alas, I know I've largely lost this battle. There are parents, college
students and credit card executives reading this who can't wait to argue
In fact, researchers at Georgetown University's Credit Research Center
conclude in a study that students can learn to manage a credit card.
Most young adults who qualify for a credit card while attending college
have smaller balances, lower credit limits and use their credit cards
less frequently than others in the same age range, concludes the
research paper, which is being published in the November 2004 issue of
the Journal of Student Financial Aid.
Credit card companies couldn't wait to trumpet this news.
"I think this is a good indication that students are becoming wiser
about the use of credit," said Daniel F. Drummond, a spokesman for Your
Credit Card Companies, an ad hoc group of six financial service
companies that have banded together to provide credit education to the
Drummond was eager to highlight some key facts from the Georgetown
study. The group did not finance the research but nonetheless wanted to
pass on these results:
- 87.9 percent of student accounts are current (paid as agreed), which
shows that college students manage credit cards as responsibly as the
- The average balance of $552 for a student account is approximately
one-third the size of the average balance of a non-student young adult's
account ($1,465) and one-fourth that of an average older adult's account
- College students are more likely than older adult account holders to
pay off their credit card balances in full each month.
Ah, but the credit card companies conveniently left out of their news
release these findings, also from the Georgetown research paper:
- Compared with older account holders, college students with credit
cards are more likely to exceed their credit limits.
- Student credit accounts are more likely to be delinquent. In an
average month, 12.1 percent of students are delinquent 30 days or more,
compared with 8.1 percent for older adults. And the incidence of serious
delinquency (accounts 90 days past due) is 3.1 percent, nearly triple
that of older adults.
- Student accounts have a higher rate of charge-offs than those being
used by older adults.
- In a given month, 18.4 percent of student credit users were assessed
fees for either being late or over their credit limits, much higher than
the 12.5 percent of older adult accounts.
Use Caution When Exploring Off-Campus Jobs - SU is NOT Responsible
Salisbury University makes no representations or guarantees about
positions listed by Career Services. SU is not responsible for safety,
wages, working conditions, or other aspects of off-campus employment. It
is the responsibility of the individuals to research the integrity of
the organizations to which they are applying. The individual is advised
to use caution and common sense when applying for any position with an
organization or a private party. Please NEVER go alone to a residential
address to apply for a job. Do not put yourself in a vulnerable position
and jeopardizing your personal safety.
Note: Minimum wage is $7.25/hour in Maryland.