THE rise in numbers of teens missing out on jobs because of content on their Facebook and Twitter pages has sparked a state government intervention.
Inappropriate photos, vicious posts and cyber bullying are being picked up by more employers as they seek the best candidates for jobs.
Youth Affairs Minister Ryan Smith is launching a fresh campaign urging young Victorians to re-address their social-media etiquette and remember that posts can last forever.
The Baillieu Government’s new push, to be launched today, has the theme, “It’s There for Life”. Students across Victoria will be warned on the dangers of sexting and social-media pitfalls in a bid to reduce the number of prospective employees hurt by their online presence.
And they’ll be encouraged to cull “friends” from Facebook or other sites if they haven’t made contact with them in over a year.
The new campaign includes a $1500 web competition to get people to think about what they put online.
“While we are not saying don’t post comments and images on social media, we are saying think twice before you do,” Mr Smith said.
“We want young Victorians to have the best start, but if you’ve posted something inappropriate online, there’s a chance a prospective employer may have found the post and made a judgment before they’ve even met you.”
Government research shows 92 per cent of young Australians worry about social-media privacy, but 40 per cent have disclosed personal information.
Sonya Karras, co-founder of Australian Teenage Expo, said social media must be used with care.
“So many young people can feel they’re bulletproof when it comes to their daily life, and the siren call of Twitter can be hard to resist,” Ms Karras said.
“What’s so valuable about the It’s There for Life campaign is it shows how one careless mouse click can come back to haunt you years later.”