Can’t Believe I Made It
Posted by Gina Rae
Well, we’ve reached the end of this semester and, honestly, in these last couple weeks I wasn’t sure I was going to get everything done! But, I did and I’m so excited to have the next couple weeks to spend not thinking about school 😉
Overall, I’m really glad I took this course, as it has been an excellent addition to my previous knowledge on social media and its uses in TPC. Here is a look at my final project for the course (which ended up being way longer than I anticipated):
Social Media’s Use in Employment
The topic I wanted to research for this project(all uses of social media in employment decisions) ended up being far to broad to fit into the scope of this paper, so I had to narrow my focus a bit. I ended up focusing my paper on the use of social media in employee selection (screening) decisions – looking at the advantages and disadvantages for both the employer and the applicant.
This topic is of interest to me because, as I’ve mentioned repeatedly, I currently work for a pre-employment screening firm so the area of screening applicants is somewhat familiar to me (although we do not use any information we obtain from social media profiles in our reports, we often look at them). Additionally, as I was finishing up my undergraduate career (when social media was blowing up), I was constantly told horror stories of how social media profiles could prevent you from getting jobs, and the strange and seemingly inappropriate methods for gaining access to profiles (for example, requiring applicants to provide login information so employers could look at all aspects of a profile, even that which is password protected). These two areas, along with the fact that social media use is often delegated to the technical communicator in an organization, led me to choose about this topic.
What I found is essentially common sense (at least to me) – don’t post inappropriate things on the internet, carefully monitor privacy settings and what other people post about you, etc. Additionally, organizations should create specific procedures if they are using social media profiles for decisions to deny employment to an applicant, to avoid discrimination and bias. Some of the legal cases I read about were exceedingly interesting, but too long and complicated to retell in this format (though I did talk my husband’s ear off about them on several occasions).
This course was extremely interesting and provided me with a great deal of experience in creating quite a lengthy report and a case study (which I really enjoyed creating). Though quite challenging, I think I am leaving this course with not only a wider base of knowledge on the use of social media and its connections to technical communication, but also a better grasp of creating different kinds of documents (blog posts, case study, etc.) that will no doubt be useful to me in the future.