You are in an internship program and New Orleans is holding its Mardi Gras festivities. You get the chance to go there around Fat Tuesday, you take in the sights, look at the parades, and maybe catch some of the throws. You might be able to attend a ball held by one the krewes. You can find some good, honest fun on Fat Tuesday. Just enjoy the festivities and never overdo it.
You should be warned that partying too hard on Mardi Gras — or on any day for that matter — may lead to you making a mistake or two that could be caught by others and shown online. One thing you need to keep in mind is the importance of social media with respect to an internship program. If you were to slip up, that might come back to haunt you. You could thus miss out on a good internship program, or be released from one.
YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE AND CANDIDACY
Businesses are increasingly using social media to recruit and screen applicants. Based on a 2015 survey by CareerBuilder, more than half of all employers use social media for these purposes. Also, 35 percent of employers are less likely to interview a candidate without an online presence. Those candidates who do have online profiles will be scrutinized to see if their information confirms their qualifications, what others are posting about them, and if they have a professional online persona.
Additionally, at least 21 percent of recruiters are expressly looking for reasons not to hire candidates and grinning like the Grinch on Christmas when they find those reasons. All told, 48 percent of hiring managers will find those things anyway. Did you go skinny dipping in your neighbor’s pool 5 years ago? Did you vandalize your high school principal’s house? Are there pictures of you chugging some beer at a kegger when you were underage? You may think this has no bearing on your viability as a candidate for an internship program, but if there is proof online of your escapades, trust that a hiring manager will find this.
YOUR BEHAVIOR WHILE IN AN INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Whatever you put online — or what someone else uploads — can still be a factor once you are in an internship program. If the company you work for uses social media to screen candidates, its managers will each keep a lookout to see that employees are representing themselves in the best way possible. It’s common sense. Also, words seem to travel fast in work environments, and even if someone in the HR department might not find recent embarrassing videos from your Facebook profile, a co-worker might and point those out to them. Lily was always looking to look like a better intern in front of your boss. Don’t make it easy for her!
So, while you might have had fun drinking booze from that boot or flashing a reveler just to get those rare beads, anyone with a smartphone could snap a pic of that and tweet that for the masses. And you have no control over another person’s online account. Just think about that.
You will also get fired by volunteering information or making it obvious that you’re drunk or have a hangover. It should go without saying, but never show up for your internship drunk or hungover. It’s unprofessional and gives off the appearance that the internship program is not important to you.
With these things in mind, we hope you have a fun and safe Mardi Gras. And stay away from the Bourbon Street area of the French Quarter! (How do I know? Um, I’ve never been there. Just trust me, guys.)