Career Day focuses on social media behavior
20 Oct 2017
Samantha Harms, work-based learning coordinator at Iowa Central Community College, is advising both high school and college students to be selective about what they post on social media.
Harms was on hand for Career Day on the main campus of Iowa Central Community College Thursday.
About 1,400 high school students from about a dozen area schools took part in the all-day event. Those schools included Webster City, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, South Central Calhoun, Manson Northwest Webster, South Hamilton and Pocahontas Area high schools.
The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance has partnered with Iowa Central for four years to expose students to a wide range of careers and information on how to prepare them for their futures through Career Day.
One topic of conversation was effectively preparing for job interviews, and a part of that preparation deals with social media.
According to Harms, certain behavior online can result in the loss of a career opportunity.
“A lot of kids don’t realize a picture they took 10 years ago can come back and cost them a job,” she said. “We want them to know that employers are looking at social media profiles.”
Harms’ position consists of advising and helping students decide what career path they want to pursue.
She helps set up job shadows, internships and mock interviews for students by working with area schools and businesses.
“This isn’t just a one-day thing,” she said. “This is just one step. We don’t want this to be a one-day conversation. We want this to continue to grow.”
In terms of social media, Harms tells students to be cautious.
“We tell them, we give examples, show videos of how fast social media can travel,” she said. “Because that post, once you put it out there, you think you can delete it, but it’s out there forever. Somebody can find it.”
Harms said she also tells students to clean up their online profiles prior to applying for a job.
“I always tell students, go by what you wouldn’t want your grandma to see on Facebook,” she said.
Career day offers students a glimpse into different opportunities available in the greater Fort Dodge region.
“One big reason we do Career Day is to expose kids to the different opportunities available in our area,” she said. “There is also a hope that they will stay local. We want to give them an opportunity before they go off to college and spend money.”
She said some students will use the experience to find out what they don’t want to do in the future.