Book Review: You Posted What?
You Posted What!? by Tiffany Sunday
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 25, 2014)
Digital reputation horror stories are everywhere. Almost everyone knows someone who’s either done something stupid online or has had something awful done to them.
Negative comments, embarrassing photos, and ugly online behaviour can crop up later on in life, when young people are entering the job market, and potentially limit their chances. In today’s competitive market, recruiters are turning to digital profiles to weed out unsuitable candidates.
“The internet has a long memory…”
Teens can be blasé about their social media use, so what can parents do?
You Posted What!? How to Help Your Teen to Use Social Media to Gain an Advantage for College and Future Employment is a resource to help parents navigate the digital mire and point their digitally active kids in the right direction. Author Tiffany Sunday is a strategist, entrepreneur, professional speaker—and a switched on mother.
Tiffany’s fresh message and clear voice rises above the crowd of naysayers with their messages of woe. Rather than a dire list of do-nots, she puts forward a vision of craftsmanship. She urges kids and parents to harness the positive potential of the internet to build a positive digital profile.
Resume of the Future – (Psst! The future is here!)
Nowadays, digital profiles are replacing resumes. Employment recruiters believe a person’s digital footprint is a more accurate representation of who they are. The accumulation of photos, comments, purchases, and online behaviour says a lot.
Do people actually dig this stuff up? You’d better believe they do! Tiffany quotes Neha Prekash from her Mashable article: “…though studies have shown 90% of the job recruiters will use a candidate’s (Facebook) profile as part of the screening process, those same studies indicate 69% of those recruiters have rejected a candidate based on the content they saw…”
Every day, new companies enter the marketplace, and their goal is to aggregate useful information for employers and others. Some of the successful companies and start-ups include:
- Hire Art matches jobseekers and job creators.
- re.vu is a digital resume that allows job hunters to create a webpage to showcase their talents.
Crafting a Positive Digital Profile
The goal here is not to “erase” the negative (which is pretty much impossible anyway); it is to accentuate and showcase the positive. “For teens it is about finding the balance of having fun while making sure their profile is consistent with their life and career goals,” advises Tiffany.
Tiffany recommends rounding out the typical teen’s fluffy cyberlife of social media and gaming with solid activities that have career and educational value. The following educational platforms can enrich a digital profile with badges and certificates.
- Code Academy offers courses in coding, a highly sought-after skill.
- Coursera provides courses from top universities worldwide to students of all ages.
- Khan Academy serves up advanced maths, social media marketing, and entrepreneurship and more
- Pathbrite offers digital mentors and allows an unlimited number of career portfolios, where students can explore future directions.
Blogs can be a great tool to beef up a digital profile. The advantage of a WordPress blog, for example, is that the young person owns the content and has more control than they might have on social media platforms. A successful blog can be a strong component of a digital resume as it showcases skills in writing, design, and social media. Recruiters worldwide lament the lack of tight writing skills in today’s job seekers, even in graduates of top universities.
Finally, Tiffany recommends LinkedIn as the most important social media platform to master. “Encourage your teen to follow key thought leaders in the industries they are considering.” In 2013, LinkedIn lowered its minimum user age to 13 to allow teens to develop their career profiles.
You Posted What!? is highly recommended for parents of tweens and teens. The book raises important points without a single note of hysteria. Its focus on proactive steps is refreshing, and the lists of resources will be referred to again and again. She gives tips for monitoring your kids’ digital profiles. Although aimed at the American market, parents and teens in other countries will still find great value in it. The college entry material in particular is not as relevant in Australia, but the job market info is increasingly so.