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By Aaron Brown
The Chronicle, Des Moines Area Community College

(UWire)--Social networking Web sites have become the new reference check tool for employers, said a national speaker at Des Moines (Iowa) Area Community College Wednesday.

"60 percent of employers will search your name on Facebook before they hire you," said Tom Krieglstein, who spoke on "the secrets behind Facebook and MySpace." Krieglstein owns Swift Kick, a company that "provides training and technology to move students from apathy to engagement." Krieglstein spoke to about 150 students on Wednesday in Building 6.

Krieglstein said that means if you have a picture of yourself lying next to a toilet passed out while you're under the influence then chances are, you're not going to get hired.

Over 93 percent of college students have a Facebook page. And out of that 93 percent, about 63 percent log in every single day, said Krieglstein. Krieglstein is an entrepreneur and Promotion of Campus Activities' (APCA) Campus Speaker of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Krieglstein spoke about the advantage of social networking sites and how it can benefit a student's career.

With hundreds of students looking to get hired, simply deleting all of your negative pictures could be beneficial.

Let's say you're a young college student who uses MySpace or Facebook regularly, you have a whole bunch of status or mood updates talking about your recent activities such as "I just got out of the shower" or "I have a doctor appointment at 3." Krieglstein explains that we can use these social networking sites for more than just information about our daily activities. Instead we could use them to attract employers.

Krieglstein said today our digital identity is bigger than our physical identity. This means you're more likely to be found on a social networking site such as MySpace or Facebook than at the grocery store

Because of this, students can use the Web to their advantage. They can post positive images of themselves instead of images of them holding a cup full of alcohol. With hundreds of students looking to get hired, simply deleting all of your negative pictures could be beneficial.

"Facebook is the best way to help you get a job," said Krieglstein. Krieglstein talked about his idea of the "Glass House" which basically describes how social networking sites are digital see-through houses that let the world know who you are and what you're doing without hiding anything.

 Write a winning résumé and cover letter 

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Krieglstein recommended logging in and changing your social profile to something more career friendly. That way the next time your potential boss looks up your page you'll have a better chance of getting hired.

Krieglstein also talked about the Internet leaving digital footprints. Digital footprints are traces left by someone's digital activity. Google is working on a new idea that will collect a person's digital activity from the first time they logged into Facebook up until they last updated their status and turn it into a digital timeline for anyone to view.

"Social networking sites can be a mega phone," Krieglstein said, "You can use the mega phone to promote good qualities and leave positive digital footprints."

Published November 9, 2009

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