School is finally out for Year 12 students across the country with thousands hitting tourist hotspots for a well-deserved Schoolies break.
Yes, it’s a time for celebrating, but millennial career coach Ulrich Schild warns that aside from keeping on the right side of the law, a scandalous social media footprint at events like Schoolies could impact on young graduates and jobseekers looking for work.
While it's important to have fun, Schild told the Hit Network young school leavers need to play it smart, look out for each other, and be vigilant about what is shared on social media.
“Schoolies is a special occasion, it’s a special place. But my view is don’t just do something silly because everyone else is doing it,” he said.
“If it’s obvious that it’s stupid then why would you be doing it just because it’s Schoolies?
"Australia is a big island but it’s an island that you can’t escape, everyone knows everyone in the end and that will surface somewhere especially when you’re job hunting.”
The number one fear for young job seekers
Through his consultancy and blog The Job Search Coach, Schild said the biggest fear he sees among Gen Y and millennial clients involves the social media checks conducted by employers and hiring managers – which can dig up dirt from years and years prior, including those wild nights on Schoolies.
“Let’s say they like your application and everything is hunky dory, the first thing they do is what’s called a social check, they check you out online,” he explained.
“Whether it’s online or it’s a quick Snapchat or Instagram video, whatever these antics that you have undertaken, they could tarnish future opportunities in the short term, or in some instances, forever.
“I have a client, a student, who was requested to provide his Tinder history, and he received over 800 pages of Tinder exchanges, he’d also gone a little bit overboard with Snapchat and video – including Tinder – and he’s now spending a lot of money to try and get his history removed.”
Recruiters verses HR Managers
If you are genuinely worried about something coming back to bite you – Schild says young job seekers should target their job application to a HR manager and not a recruiter. “HR professionals are usually a little more lenient and a little more qualified, that’s my personal view,” he said.
“Recruiters have only one thing in their focus and that is to get you placed as a job hunter and client.
“That means they don’t want to get egg on their face, and that means if they check you out online and they find [damaging] stuff about you online that means the end of your application.
“Recruiters see you as a commodity, where are HR professionals they’ll look at you and the story and they’ll weigh it up, more or less, but why would you take a risk? That’s how it works nowadays.
“There’s something like 20 companies out there who make millions of dollars every year, every year providing social checks to small, medium and large businesses to be sure they don’t get egg on their face when they hire you.”
But ultimately don’t sweat it
Schild said millennials have grown up in a 21st century world of social media where documenting our every move is just part of everything day life – so if you “use your brain” you’ve probably got nothing to worry about.
“Whether it’s in the open on CCTV, whether it’s online or in the news, whenever something now happens it’s captured – people pull out their phones and video recorders and it ends up somewhere,” he said.
“If you’re actively part of it or in the midst of the pudding this will be inevitably form part of your social footprint.
“Like I said in the beginning, enjoy yourself at Schoolies, use your brain and look out for your mates – I think that’s what matters.”