Gloucester Citizen: TEENAGERS are being advised to create a positive online presence to impress future employers or universities.

With many employers now looking at social media profiles, careers advisers are warning youngsters to be aware of what they post online.

It needs more than a tidy CV for the next generation of job-hunters, with parents being advised to make sure their offspring are aware of how they are presented in the online world.

Steve Weldon, student guidance manager at Gloucestershire College, said his team offer advice to students on how to make the most of their web presence.

“Teenagers need to constantly realise that everything they post online is available for people to see,” he said.

“They need to ensure that their social media profiles only show employers what they want them to see.

“They have to give off the right impression online.

“Employers do look at it.”

However, Mr Weldon also said that social media is a great way of enhancing chances of getting a job by using it to network, set up video CVs or create a profile on LinkedIn.

“It is a double edged sword,” he said.

“But it comes down to profile branding which is a growing term.

“Understanding that everything you put online is all part of building your own brand and that needs to be something that is positive.”

In a recent survey by arbitration service Acas, 45 per cent of those involved in hiring staff said they were already using social media tools in recruitment, including screening candidates by viewing their profiles.

Mark Owen, chairman of the Gloucester branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said more and more firms are looking at social media during the recruitment process.

“It’s not something that I have done however without a shadow of a doubt more businesses are doing it,” he said.

“Recruiting someone is a serious investment in a company.

“The repercussions of getting it wrong are huge on both sides.

“Everybody should be aware of their online persona and the way they portray themselves online.

“Young people need to think twice about what they put out there for the world to see.

“At the same time employers should remember that they were young once.”

Peter Carr, deputy chief executive, GFirst LEP added: “Young people need to carefully consider the images and content of what they post on social media sites as it could potentially be viewed by prospective employers to help assess their suitability for the role in terms of their personal capabilities, skills, education, experience and conduct in the workplace.

“If any young person aged over 18 would like some support or advice with applying for work and training please contact our Employment and Skills Team on 0800 002 9838.”

How can parents help?

Understand how your teenager is presenting themselves online by following these key steps:

• Search for your teenager’s name online, along with their home town, school or club and see what appears – if any of their social media posts show up in the searches, advise them to change their privacy settings to ‘friends’ only

• Assess what different types of devices your teenager has access to, for example games consoles, computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and web cams – ensure these are securely managed

• Know which social networking sites your teenager is using, for example Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and online chat – help them optimise privacy and security settings

Read more: