Be smarter when using social media – Chamber of Commerce

The Samoa Chamber of Commerce (SCOC) has appealed to young people to be smarter when using social media to look for and apply for jobs.

The SCOC Chief Executive Officer, Lemauga Hobart Vaai, said the Chamber plans to train its interns and young staff to appreciate the importance of social media and to manage their profiles effectively.

"From the Chamber point of view, we are going to improve on our training for our youth interns and young employees, to understand the importance of managing your social medial profiles because it is a two edged sword," he said.

A lot of potential employers also check out the social media profiles of applicants, Lemauga added, which should compel youth to rethink what they post on their social media accounts. 

"Does the candidate post provocative inappropriate videos and posts? Posting pictures of them drinking or taking drugs, candidates who post about discrimination against race, gender and religion and bad mouthing previous employers and fellow workers. All these issues that reflect their character and ethics."

There has been an increase in the use of online platforms by both the Government and private sector organisations to advertise job vacancies. Currently the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labor (MCIL) run their own online portals, while local webpages Infinity and Samoa Vacancies are focused on the private sector.

Recently, local restaurant Bistro Tatau took to social media to express concern at what it described as "unprofessionalism" by an unidentified Facebook female user who applied for a waitress position with the restaurant. 

The restaurant owner Bill Gunn said they were delighted with the number of people who responded to the vacancy, but were shocked to see many potential applicants listing "a proud Samoan", as the only experience they have on their Facebook profiles. They did not give any details on their educational background, experience or even referees. 

“At the same time, I am grossly offended by the girl who allegedly went to St Mary’s College between Jan 2013 to Jan 2015 lists her current position as ‘CEO at Mind Your Own Business’ and whose experience is ‘non of your business’,” he publicly posted in response.

His response was widely criticised by current and former students of St Mary's College, but Mr. Gunn said they did not mean to offend anyone including those who used rude and foul language.

“The issue is that I put our vacant ad on, in a professional manner and this is how I get treated? With rudeness and bad language. We had no intentions to offend anybody but it’s no wonder youth unemployment is so high,” he added. 

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