In a New York City Starbucks, Gen Y is worried about Facebook

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In an effort to shelter ourselves from the freezing cold of NYC this weekend, Nicole and I popped into a Starbucks near South Street Seaport for a hot chocolate.

Sitting beside us were 3 young Gen-Yers, sipping on their coffees, chatting, and ‘studying’ for an upcoming law exam.

Aside from being absolutely shocked by the content of some of their conversation (“I hope my roommate comes back from California soon…I need to borrow her ritalin before the exam”), I was particularly intrigued by one of their comments: “I want to join the X society, because then I can post it on my Facebook page and when it comes to recruitment, employers that are searching for me will be able to find it.”

Now, at TalentEgg we participate in a lot of events and the topic of Facebook always comes up. Occasionally, employers will admit to using the site to screen candidates, though I have never heard an employer claim to use Facebook as part of their official recruitment process.

So, given how ridiculous I thought this girl’s comment was, I thought it was about time that I weighed in on the Facebook issue.

What is the point of a site that connects friends with friends when your friends are using it to impress non-friends (employers). What is the point of a site that connects friends with friends if we’re screening our content to the point where our profiles act as virtual resumes?

If an individual is concerned that a potential employer is googling them, or searching for them on facebook, why not kindly direct that employer somewhere else? Like a blog, a personal website, a profile on a CAREER-related site like TalentEgg, a REAL virtual resume?

Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE FACEBOOK. I use it too much. But I don’t think it’s a great place to show yourself off as a potential employee. It’s not that one magic bullet that has the ability to summarize a person completely (socially, professionally, and all the rest). As human beings, we’re too 3-dimensional for that.

So when you think an employer might be looking for you online, and you want to find out exactly how fantastic an asset you would be in their organization, be creative. Think outside the (Face)box.

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About the author

Lauren Friese is the founder of TalentEgg.ca. She graduated from Queen's University in 2005 with a degree in economics and had no idea how to make a successful transition into the workforce. She ended up at the LSE in London, England, and after earning an MSc in economic history, used Milkround.com – a British graduate recruitment website – to find a great entry-level role in consulting in London. She thought Milkround was fantastic, and that it was a service sorely lacking in Canada. And so the idea for TalentEgg was hatched!